Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine, often known as Oriental medicine or traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), encompasses a vast array of folk medical practices based on mysticism. It holds the belief that the body’s vital energy (Qi) circulates in the body through channels known as meridians, with branches connected to bodily organs and functions. A disruption or imbalance of the Qi leads to illness. Ancient remedies such as Qigong, use of herbs and acupuncture are believed to restore the balance of the Qi.

Traditional acupuncture as practiced in China for more than 2,500 years is one of the vital components of the Chinese medicine system. It involves the insertion of stainless steel needles into various body areas, along with a low-frequency current to the needles to produce greater stimulation. Other Chinese practices used separately or in combination with acupuncture are: moxibustion (burning of floss or herbs applied to the skin); injection of sterile water, procaine, morphine, vitamins, or homeopathic solutions through the inserted needles; applications of laser beams (laserpuncture); placement of needles in the external ear (auriculotherapy); and acupressure (use of manual pressure). The acupuncture treatment is applied to “acupuncture points,” located throughout the body. These acupuncture points as believed by today’s acupuncturists number more than 2,000.

For 40 years, the acupuncture system has gained popularity and has been widely accepted as an alternative medicine in both developed and developing counties. The American Cancer Society (ACS) formed for the treatment of cancer and treatment-related symptoms has recommended the use of acupuncture in cancer patients. It has been known to treat pain, nausea, breathlessness, vasomotor symptoms and limb edema.

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