Ancient Chinese Calendar

Ancient Chinese Calendar

Ancient Chinese Calendar

Ancient Chinese Calendar

East is East and West is West, as the saying goes. But in medicine, at least, the two sides are meeting. Over the past few decades, acupuncture has become more and more widely known and accepted in the United States. Many people think acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are the same thing and interchangeable, but in fact, acupuncture is just a small part of TCM. The basic elements of TCM include herbal medicine, acupuncture, body work (e.g. Chinese massage, Tuina, etc.), exercise (e.g. Qigong, Taichi, martial arts, etc.), and dietetics.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has a clearly recorded history in Chinese classic medical texts for at least 2,500 years. Based upon information in history and literature, some people believe that it has been practiced in China for 4,000 – 5,000 years. TCM came to the West with the early Chinese immigrants. It is almost certain that acupuncture has been known and used in the West since the seventeenth century. Outside of China, the first recorded use of acupuncture was by Dr. Berlioz at the Paris Medical School in 1810. In the US, Chinese immigrants started to practice Chinese Medicine as soon as they reached this country, but was kept within the Chinese community and not widely known by mainstream America. The spotlight was put on TCM in the 1972 when President Nixon and his staff made a historic trip to China. On this trip, a New York Times journalist, James Reston, had an emergency appendectomy with acupuncture used as the anesthetic. Reston’s successful operation and subsequent Times article on TCM shed much favorable light on this medicine. Consequently, people in mainstream America began to try TCM. Now TCM is a major component of alternative medicine in the US.

Ancient Chinese Calendar

Ancient Chinese Calendar

Ancient Chinese Calendar

In western countries a growing number of patients rely on alternative medicine for preventive or palliative care. The use of acupuncture is on the rise in the United States. The number of visits rose from 27.2 to 79.2 per 1,000 adults between 1997 and 2007. According to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), approximately 3.1 million adults in the United States used acupuncture within the year prior to 2007, a 47 percent increase from the 2002 NHIS estimate. Since its establishment in 1992, the budget for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has grown from $2 million to more than $100 million in 2005. The NCCAM funds research in Oriental medicine and other CAM therapies.

The practice of TCM including acupuncture is highly regulated in the US. When you start your search for an acupuncturist, make sure your practitioner is licensed. In Texas, as of January 2010, there were 679 acupuncturists licensed by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. All of them graduated from accredited acupuncture schools and have taken and passed the full NCCAOM examination and the CCAOM Clean Needle examination.

Ancient Chinese Calendar

Ancient Chinese Calendar

Ancient Chinese Calendar

The Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin (AOMA) is a leader in the national discussion of acupuncture’s growing acceptance in US healthcare. As acupuncture becomes integrated more thoroughly into traditional institutions of Western medicine, is increasingly accepted by major health insurance plans, and is used more frequently than ever, AOMA’s leadership has positioned it to be a major voice in policy development.
Since its founding in 1993, AOMA has grown by every important quantitative and qualitative measure including its student body, faculty, accreditation, campus facilities, patients served and community outreach.

In addition to its graduate program in acupuncture and Chinese medicine that attracts students from around the country and faculty from around the world, AOMA provides services to patients in traditional Western medical settings including Seton Topfer community clinic, Seton GoodHealth Commons, and People’s Community Clinic, as well as serving patient on campus. AOMA is one of the largest providers of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in Austin. The student and professional clinics conducted more than 20,000 patient visits in 2009.

Ancient Chinese Calendar

Ancient Chinese Calendar

Ancient Chinese Calendar

AOMA faculty’s clinical specialties include neurology, treatment of allergies, stress, depression, facial rejuvenation, nutritional therapies, herbal practices, pain management, muscle injury, lumbago, recovery of fractures, headaches, insomnia, gastrointestinal disorders, fertility and weight management.

Vice-President of Faculty, Jamie Wu, described how acupuncture works by explaining that humans are in part bioelectric systems. This bioelectricity, called Qi, flows throughout the body along well-defined, documented pathways. Points on the body along these pathways are energetically connected to specific organs and body systems. In treatment, acupuncture points are stimulated to balance the circulation of Qi. This ultimately influences the health of the entire person. “The needles are as thin as a strand of hair,” Dr. Wu said. “We are very gentle with our patients. We emphasize treating the whole patient, not just a patient’s symptom. We help them understand their treatment and take the time to answer all of their questions.”

Ancient Chinese Calendar

Ancient Chinese Calendar

Ancient Chinese Calendar

Recognition of Chinese medicine, as an important and necessary part of American healthcare, is on the rise. In the US and in Europe, acupuncture is increasingly covered by major insurance plans. The AOMA professional clinic now accepts the Seton Health Plan, United Health Care & Blue Cross Blue Shield, although coverage and co-pays vary by plan.

There is increasing scientific evidence proving the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of medical ailments including chemotherapy-induced nausea, chronic back pain, hypertension and allergic rhinitis. Acupuncture is also used for fertility, facial skin tightening, weight management, and a host of other common complaints.

By Xiaotian Shen MPH, LAc
Article Source: selfgrowth.com