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What is Oriental Medicine?

Oriental medicine is a complete system of healing that has been used successfully in Asia for over 2,500 years. The basic concept is that a vital force of life (called Qi) flows through the body though channels (also called meridians). Any imbalance to this life force can cause disease and illness.

Oriental medicine does not focus on a single symptom or specific illness--rather, it concentrates on one's pattern of disease. The overall goal of the treatment is to restore the body to a balanced state of functioning. Once this has been accomplished, the body is better able to heal itself.

Oriental medicine may incorporate one or more of the following modalities:

  • Acupuncture: the skillful placement of fine needles in specific acu-points throughout the body. This stimulus directs the body to reduce pain and help normalize bodily functions. The acupuncturist may choose to use electrical devices and/or heat therapy in conjunction with the needles to enhance the therapeutic effect.
  • Acupressure and Oriental Massage: techniques that employ the same theoretical principles as does acupuncture, except that finger pressure and soft tissue manipulation are used instead of needles.
  • Chinese Herbal Medicine, also known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): the use of medicinal plant substances, which are combined into formulas that address the underlying health problem. These herbs are natural, pesticide-free substances, which have many different healing characteristics. Some of their properties include aiding digestive function, improving circulation, stimulating hormone release and enhancing the body's immune system. Herbs are often used in conjunction with acupuncture to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment.

    Contemporary alternative health centers, including Acu-Care Health Centers, use products, which are developed by companies that are based in the United States and follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards. The herbs used in the products pass government inspection and are tested by independent laboratories for pesticides, sulfite, bacterial and other contamination, so that they meet strict standards for purity and potency.
  • Nutritional Guidance and Lifestyle Counseling: are important components of any health care program. Oriental medicine practitioners may advise a patient as to which foods and supplements would be beneficial for their specific condition, as well as those that should be avoided. Patients may also be given suggestions for therapeutic exercise (such as Tai-chi and Qi-gong), stress reduction techniques and proper breathing methods. All of these support the patient's overall program to restore good health.

Kimberly Hoover, L.Ac., M.T.O.M, D.N.C.C.A., D.N.B.A.O. is a board licensed acupuncturist in California. She is experienced in both Chinese and Japanese traditional medicine and is considered a specialist in Acupuncture Orthopedics and pulse diagnostics. Ms. Hoover is the founder of Acu-Care Health Centers, a San Diego alternative health center offering products and services such as acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicines, herbal detoxification programs, health products, Ion Spa treatment and ELR facial rejuvenation.

Maria Ny is a published author and the webmaster for Acu-Care Health Centers. She has written articles and informational material for a variety of industries on many different topics.


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