Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Traditional Chinese Medicine views the body as a whole and emphasizes the importance of confronting the root of the cause as well as the manifesting symptoms. Each individual is unique and thus treatment should be tailored according to each diagnostic evaluation. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture are the most utilized forms of treatment.
At Omaha Acupuncture and Chiropractic, we offer different treatment options including Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture (ear, scalp, electro), cupping, heat therapy, herbal nutrition, and lifestyle recommendations. Treatment plans encompass individual or integrated techniques to optimize each patient’s respective care.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?
Chinese herbs are natural time-tested remedies made up of plant, mineral and animal parts used to create balance in the body. These herbs were traditionally boiled into a tea. But due to the bitter taste and inconvenience of boiling tea for an hour, the herbs are more readily available in pill, capsule, tincture or granular form. Chinese herbal medicine is most appreciated in helping the body gain back its normal functions without becoming dependent on herbs once the patient has recovered.
Herbal formula plays the role of a mother who protects her child in danger. Once the danger is over the child can play free and happy again. Chinese herbal formula treats diseases by adjusting the body’s internal environment to resist and confront external environmental changes. An example would be like trying to remove unwanted mushrooms on a log of wood. One could pluck the mushrooms but the environment would still be ripe for them to grow back.
To solve or cure conditions like this, Chinese herbal medicine focuses on the internal environment and condition of the body. One can only remove mushrooms completely by changing the conditions that allow them to grow. The practitioners at Omaha Acupuncture and Chiropractic excel at balancing this internal environment of the body to treat diseases. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, practitioners use single or combination of herbs to treat different kind of ailments.
A single herb prescription is often used in the diet for maintenance of health, especially in a patient who has just recovered from a previous disease. A combination of herb formula containing 5 to 12 or more are mainly prescribed for chronic diseases and for complicated conditions to support and treat the underlying disease. In cases like this, a stronger herbal effect is applied and needed to restore and regulate the body’s function to its normal level.
Compared to Western pharmaceuticals, Chinese herbs treat the root cause of your illness and not just your symptoms. Most medicinal plants contain an active component, as well as other chemical components that balance any potential side effects. When the active chemical in a plant is isolated and concentrated, other important compounds that balance the effects are lost. Western medications often work very quickly, but can have unpleasant side effects.
Most Chinese herbs have no side effects when used in their whole plant form. They must be taken consistently for one week to several months, depending on the ailment. Because the plant is in its whole form, Chinese herbs must be consumed in larger doses and more frequently. Chinese herbs can work in conjunction with your prescription drugs. Our practitioners at Omaha Acupuncture and Chiropractic have a profound understanding of individual herbs and how they work best in combination to treat crucial conditions.
How does it work?
When you come in for an herbal consultation, your practitioner will ask you about your symptoms, and go through a thorough intake of your overall health. She will ask questions about your sleep, digestion and emotional state. Then she will observe your voice, the brightness in your eyes, your odor, fingernails, hair, posture, gait and skin which all give valuable clues about your state of health.
Finally, your acupuncturist will look at your tongue and feel your pulse, the major diagnostic tools of Chinese medicine. After getting a complete picture of your health, she will recommend herbal formulas individualized for your body. As your condition changes and improves with treatment, the Chinese herbal treatment is also adjusted and modified until the desired health outcome is achieved. Most herbs are of plant origin though some animal and mineral substances may also be used.
You may find some in your kitchen, such as ginger, garlic and cinnamon, while others such as chrysanthemum and peony flowers, are more likely to be found in your garden! Many of the substances used will be unfamiliar to you and have names like chai hu (bupleurum), di huang (rehmannia), and huang qi (astragalus). Every herb acts on one or more organs, has a thermal property (cool herbs drain heat), and specific actions on the body. All of our herbs are tested for safety and quality control.
Who would benefit?
In addition to providing effective treatment for a wide range of health disorders, Chinese herbal medicine may also be used to assist with general health maintenance and disease prevention. A snapshot of conditions typically treated with Chinese herbal medicine includes:
- Insomnia and fatigue
- Loss of appetite and common digestive disorders
- Constipation and diarrhea
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Common cold and influenza
- Chronic headaches
- Skin disorders
- Fluid retention
- Anxiety, depression and stress
- Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis
- Premenstrual syndrome and painful menstruation
- Excessive menstruation
- Impotence and prostate disorders
- Disorders associated with menopause
“Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge. Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favour compared with the products of nature, the living cell of the plant, the final results of the rays of the sun, the mother of all life.” – Thomas Edison
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