TCM rebalances the body in a natural, safe and effective way.
By Doris Rathgeber
Welcome to China, the birth place of Traditional Chinese Medicine, an ancient holistic approach for treatment and prevention of disease. Many Westerners believe that TCM is specifically for the Chinese. Not so. In fact, TCM is increasingly becoming a popular approach in the West for children and adults due to its natural, safe and effective methods.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a comprehensive medical system which is extremely effective in healing acute and chronic diseases. It works to enhance equilibrium of our vital substances: qi, blood, yin and yang. These vital substances are moving within our body constantly to help us maintain mental and physical balance as well as organ function.
However, these substances are extremely delicate and can easily become imbalanced. Dealing with everyday stress, which are amplified living in a vastly different cultural environment, can disrupt our internal equilibrium and stifle our qi. Headaches, migraines, sleeping disorders, eating/digestive problems, neck pain, back pain, unrest, and aggression are all signs of an imbalanced qi that should not be ignored. So how do we begin to restore peace and harmony to our hectic lives in Shanghai?
Tips for Rebalancing
First, help yourself with day-to-day wellbeing. Slow down and focus on the things that are really important in your life. Try to have as much calm in your day as possible. Living in big cities is exhausting in the best of circumstances.
Drink less alcohol, eat less fatty food, and stop smoking. Regulate your Body Mass Index by adopting a healthy diet and exercise plan for you and your family. Begin by eating a variety of healthy food at breakfast each day with your family, a great start for a successful day. As your body is subjected to a plethora of bacteria and viruses in China, taking in more high quality vitamins and antioxidants is imperative to support the body’s Wei Qi (immunity).
Second, use TCM to boost energy and reduce if you feel imbalanced. Drink herbal teas in the morning and evening to boost your qi and help you sleep. Clean out your system with detoxification and regulate your bowel movements. Relax with a mixture of herbs and a course of acupuncture or Tuina massage.
Working with a TCM Practitioner
Please be aware that Chinese treatment methods should not be very painful. There should not be any excessive bruising on your skin after treatment, with the exception of marks left by suctioning in cupping. Even foot reflexology should not hurt. Experienced therapists will listen to you and not cause you pain.
TCM Practitioners or OMDs (Oriental Medical Doctors) diagnose very differently from Western doctors. They follow the process of wang, wen, wen, qie – observing, smelling, listening and feeling. Most important are pulse and tongue diagnoses. With 29 different pulse patterns, a TCM practitioner can spot the imbalance in your system very quickly. The difference in tongue coating and colorings is also significant in analyzing the functioning of the internal organs. Try not to use lipstick or make-up if you have an appointment with an OMD.
Observe your body thoroughly. OMDs will use extensive questioning about the changes you have noticed in your body. OMDs will decide whether to use Western or Chinese medicine – they have the choice, depending on your needs. Often it is possible to avoid antibiotics or strong medication with heavy side effects, particularly if you visit soon enough. When you notice a problem or change, make an appointment so your doctor can treat you most effectively (and help you avoid a lot of discomfort).
Never buy herbs or medicine without the advice of an educated TCM practitioner. Chinese herbs can have side effects or cause symptoms to become worse if a false diagnosis is made. Moreover, some herbs can be counterproductive when taken with other medication. The first step to staying healthy is to find the right practitioner for you.
We have some TCM doctors serving at our three Body & Soul locations. We offer consultations in English, Spanish, German, Japanese and Chinese, replying to this message to find a trusted TCM practitioner who can be your partner in good health and a more balanced life.