Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) originated about five thousand years ago, Acupuncture is part of this medical system. Just like the aged wine, TCM is shaped and refined by age with its unique health care philosophy. It has spread to 182 countries in the world, and there are 43 states plus the District of Columbia in the United States that have issued licenses to Acupuncturist as independent health care provider. WHO has identified many diseases, symptoms or conditions to be beneficial from acupuncture treatment, NIH offers funding for scientist to study the efficacy of acupuncture for a wide range of conditions. As one of the holistic medicine, it is capable to compensate what the allopathic medicine and other alternative medicine requires.

Key Principles of TCM:

 Talking about the Principle of TCM, most people think about the YIN-YANG theory, furthermore the Five Elements Theory. Yes, they are the core theory of TCM, that the TCM professionals must understand and master. However the first thing to understand TCM is: TCM has the belief that the human body has a self-healing ability and each individual has its own unique constitution. The self-healing ability can be hampered by certain influences such as emotions, diet, exhaustion from overly mental and physical work, climates, environments, even aging and so on; all of the mentioned influences together with hereditary factors will forge each individually different body constitution; So, by identifying the body constitution and the factors that hinders the self-healing power, then remove those factors will be the essential work to TCM practitioner to address the illness. The principle of Eastern medicine is very similar to Western medicine’s idea of homeostasis, or a state of internal equilibrium. Its strategies work on multi-level of imbalance of individual health state; it fits in the idea of personalized medicine. Different kind of soil grows different plants, Western medicine focuses on plants condition —- diseases; Eastern medicine works on the soil condition, which is constitutional health state. Eastern medicine also works on the same subject of human diseases as Western medicine, which means Eastern medicine does base on the Human anatomy, physiology, pathology, although they originated from different culture, from different time, even different approach to the human body; Qi, Yin-Yang and Five Elements are applied to explain the body self-control system, more like the control system of Homeostasis, self-healing. Qi flow after acupuncture is rather combing sensations of increased blood flow, body fluid flow, chemicals releasing; pressure sensor, temperature sensor, and nerve ends stimulation that causes a chain of signaling transduction, which directly lead to the adjustment to the homeostasis control, self-healing system, or the equilibrium of cells, tissues, organs, systems. 

Understanding of Acupuncture

 The Most Effective Alternative Medicine or Holistic Medicine: Both Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are the essential practices of Eastern Medicine. Acupuncture is one kind of technique of healing as well as diagnosing in TCM. Many years of observation and experimentation with needles conclude that certain points on the skin are associated with particular internal body functions and emotions through the body signaling system in the nervous system, through interstitial fluid function, blood and lymphoma circulation, muscle-skeletal activities. By saying that, it means the acupuncture function is the combining function of all of the above, only in the living body. It has been applied to human’s health for five thousand years, the effectiveness and safety of Acupuncture has also been tested for four decades in USA; for years, acupuncture has been offered by many hospitals, and recently Chinese herbal medicine started to be prescribed too in the hospital, such as in Cleveland clinic. According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 51% of medical doctors understand the efficacy and value of acupuncture, and more medical doctors refer patients to acupuncturists more than any other alternative care provider. Besides managing pain control as most people are familiar with its use, acupuncture has a proven track record of treating and addressing a variety of endocrine, circulatory, and systemic conditions. Acupuncture and modern medicine combined together have the potentials to support, strengthen, and nurture a patient back to vital health and well-being. The Basic Anatomic Features Of Acupoints: Acupoints are always associated with either cutaneous nerves or muscular nerves; they are formed more along superficial nerve trunks than along deeper ones; they are formed at the locations where a nerve trunk penetrates deep fascia and emerges close to the surface; at the locations where a large nerve trunk branches into two or more smaller branches; at the bone foramina where nerve trunks emerge to distribute cutaneously; at the loci where the nerve trunks enter the muscle; at the spot associated with neurovascular bundles; they are formed along the coronal suture, sagittal suture, and lambdoidal suture on the skull; some researchers also suggested a close association of some acupoints with lymphatic channels. 

Modern Research and Acupuncture:

Recent researches confirmed that acupuncture points stimulation will make body producing Epinephrine, Norepinephrine, Dopamine, Histamine, Serotonin, Opium like pain killer, increase CO2 releasing from skin, increase blood Immunoglobulin and so on; The research about the meridians has confirmed its existence through Ultrasound transfer, Isotope trace, electric current conduction and so on; its anatomical base, one explanation is body fluid travel through loose and dense connective tissue formed their own paths, which means the fluid carrying all kinds of released chemicals, nerve signaling substances from point stimulations travel from dense connective tissue area to loose connective tissue area, from high osmosis to low osmosis area, to form its own path, transfer chemicals and signals to ignite the homeostasis control to start the self-healing. The pathway is meridian.

The simplest way to understand acupuncture can be also compared to Plants maintenance and trimming theories. How to trim a plant, depending on the intention is to increase root development, to develop top bud or bottom bud, the trimming will influence the local and whole plant photosynthesis, which further to influence the plants health. So where or which branch to trim is Botanical science, aren’t there a trimming or controlling system on our body? Yes, there are, the Acupuncture! Should we call it Bioinformatics Medicine?