The beauty of Holistic Healing and Chinese medicine is that it addresses the entire being: mind, body, and soul. As a form of holistic healing, Chinese medicine considers illness as a dysfunction in the person as a whole. On the other hand, modern conventional medicine seeks to pinpoint a specific illness or symptom and treat it as an isolated incident.
A Chinese medicine practitioner investigates not just the physical factors, but also the emotional, nutritional, environmental, lifestyle, and even spiritual ones that may be contributing to each patient’s symptoms.
Traditional Chinese medicine seeks to create a state of total health, not just the absence of illness. This can only be achieved when the patient has a high quality of life in all areas, including spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and, of course, physically.
Approaching Illness from a Holistic Healing, Chinese Medicine Perspective
When sickness occurs, the Chinese medicine practitioner doesn’t start by simply treating the symptoms of the illness with drugs and invasive procedures.
A holistic healer searches for the underlying causes of the illness, using a combination of complementary and conventional therapies for diagnosis and treatment.
A holistic practitioner will create a personalized treatment plan for every patient that includes a variety of therapies. Acupuncture is often used as the primary therapy, with massage, sound therapy, herbal medicine, lifestyle changes, homeopathy, and nutritional recommendations being included as needed.
Also, a holistic practitioner can work in conjunction with your conventional doctor and his recommended treatments. Holistic therapies can be incorporated into your treatment plan to reduce, or even eliminate, the need for certain medications, such as pain medications and antidepressants.
Traditional Chinese medicine has also been used to reduce the uncomfortable side effects of some drugs used by conventional doctors, including fertility and chemotherapy drugs.
Holistic Healing: How it Works
When you step into a conventional doctor’s office for the first time, you’re usually handed a stack of forms to fill out, followed by a quick exam from a nurse in the treatment room.
After some waiting, the doctor usually pops in for a brief chat, recommends some medication, some tests, or some type of invasive treatment (possibly surgery), and then he’s gone again.
It’s usually not the most fulfilling experience, and you often leave with more questions than you had when you got there.
When you see a Chinese medicine practitioner for the first time, you’ll notice right away that the entire experience revolves around the patient/practitioner relationship. That’s because holistic healers know that the quality of this relationship has a direct impact on the healing outcome for the patient.
A Chinese medicine practitioner considers their own insights, along with the needs and awareness of their patients.
Based on this relationship, primary care options incorporate love and empathy for the patient, which are intended to address the mind, body, and spirit. In a holistic practice, the entire staff has an attitude of love and acceptance for the patients and each other, making the entire experience much different from what you might expect at a conventional doctor’s office.
A holistic practitioner will often offer advice for attitude and behavior modifications, spiritual counseling, and environmental changes that may be beneficial. They even consider the toxic effect that grief, anger, fear, and depression can have on the body and mind. The patient is encouraged to develop a capacity for love, laughter, and hope as powerful healing forces.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture is an ancient form of holistic healing that has been used throughout China and other Eastern countries for more than 3,500 years. Most certified acupuncturists are also trained in the use of other types of Traditional Chinese medicine, including bodywork and herbalism.
This ancient practice involves inserting ultra-fine needles into the body at specific acupuncture points. The needles are used to correct the flow of energy, called Qi, throughout the body. It is believed that when this energy becomes blocked, it results in physical and mental illness and/or pain.
Chinese medicine and acupuncture can be beneficial for both chronic and acute illnesses. A priority is placed on creating a state of optimal holistic health, empowering the patient to be part of their own treatment and healing. The focus is on creating lasting changes that result in the prevention and treatment of all illnesses, not just the primary concern.
Many people are aware of acupuncture’s ability to relieve back pain, but it can also provide a variety of other health benefits, as well. For example, it is an excellent tool for balancing the hormones and relieving the digestive issues that lead to fertility issues and other health concerns. It’s also very useful for relieving chronic fatigue, headaches, high blood pressure, joint issues, allergies and much more.
Here’s a look at how acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can be used to address common concerns:
- Weight Loss: Some people make every effort to eat a healthy diet and lead an active lifestyle, but they still can’t seem to lose weight. If this sounds like you, you might want to consider visiting an acupuncturist. While acupuncture doesn’t directly result in weight loss, it can relieve hormonal imbalances and digestive problems that may result in an inability to maintain a healthy weight. At the same time, an acupuncturist will look at your concerns holistically, recommending diet and lifestyle changes that will be very beneficial.
- Skin Issues: Of course, the signs of aging are inevitable; however, stress, overall health, and a variety of environmental factors can really speed up the effects. Many people are surprised to learn that acupuncture for facial renewal can improve blood flow to the skin’s surface. This improved circulation results in a healthy glow and a reduction in fine lines, puffiness, and hyperpigmentation over time.
Acne is a common skin issue for people of all ages, and it can be especially frustrating if you’re still dealing with it as an adult. Many people think their only course of action is to use topical treatments that are extremely drying and harsh. Acupuncture and holistic medicine can be used to treat the cause of your acne, such as stress or hormonal imbalances.
- Mental Health: Acupuncture is a wonderful tool for relieving stress, anxiety, and depression. For many patients, each treatment is kind of like hitting a reset button. Not only will you walk out of your sessions feeling calm and relaxed, but the treatments also counteract the adverse effects that chronic stress can have on your body. Stress is a leading contributor to disease, so acupuncture for better mental health will benefit you holistically.
- Women’s Health Issues: From infertility to PMS, acupuncture looks at women’s health issues in a holistic way. Many patients find it especially effective for endometriosis, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), and severe menstrual cramps. According to women’s health experts at Brooklyn-based The Yinova Center, “acupuncture can also be used to improve the outcome of conventional fertility treatments, such as IVF and IUI.” Holistic medicine is an excellent way to get relief for these conditions without having to resort to painkillers and invasive surgery.
- Head, Neck, and Shoulder Pain: How much time do you spend each day hunched over a computer or cell phone? Chances are good it’s a lot. Head, neck, and shoulder pains are common side effects of our modern lifestyle. Acupuncture is an excellent way to relax those tight muscles and get lasting pain relief. It works by triggering the release of the body’s natural painkilling hormones, so it can be used to treat all types of pain in a safe and natural way.
- Sleep Issues: Conventional medicine treats chronic insomnia with pharmaceuticals that are not only addictive, but they also come with a host of side effects. If you’re looking for a more natural solution to your sleep issues, consider visiting a holistic practitioner. Acupuncture treatments can relax the mind and body to help you fall asleep easier, and many patients notice an improvement right away. Complimentary treatments, such as Chinese herbs, bodywork, and lifestyle changes will often be included in the treatment plan.
- Digestive Issues: Acupuncture is a wonderful way to support your digestive health. Because it focuses on treating the body holistically, the treatments improve the function of the digestive system and relieve issues like constipation, reflux, bloating, and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). In fact, if you are spending hours at the gym trying to get a flatter tummy, you may want to consider seeing an acupuncturist instead. If you have digestive issues, you may never get a flat stomach simply by working out.
Ready to Visit a Holistic Practitioner?
Traditional Chinese Medicine and holistic healing can do so much more than relieve chronic pain. An acupuncturist will look at your mind, body, and spirit as a whole, often incorporating complementary therapies and lifestyle changes into an overall wellness plan.
If you are looking for ways to improve your mental and physical health without drugs or invasive treatments, seeing a holistic practitioner is a great place to start!