“Our primary aim is always to support your body’s natural ability for fighting off illness and injury.”
UNDERSTANDING EASTERN MEDICINE
Eastern medicine originated in China and has a history of over 4,000 years. It is a holistic and preventive medical system. It is holistic in that we heal your body as a whole rather than treating isolated symptoms, and preventive because our primary aim is always to support your body’s natural ability for fighting off illness and injury.
The fundamental difference between Western and Eastern medicine is that the former focuses on removing illness, while the latter aims to promote health. Both modalities have their strengths, and they should be used to complement and support each other.
For example, insomnia occurs when the body’s natural sleep drive becomes compromised. The Western medicine solution is to prescribe sleeping pills that bypass the impaired mechanism and induce sleep. This provides immediate relief, but the underlying condition remains. Eastern medicine takes a different approach – our goal is to restore the body’s innate ability to rest, so that you can find your natural sleeping rhythm again without needing to rely on pills.
Acupuncture, herbal supplements, and massage are only one part of Eastern medicine. Nutrition is another very important aspect, as food is considered to be the best medicine. Getting proper amounts of rest and exercise is also fundamental, as is mental health. Eastern medicine is holistic, all-natural, and surprisingly powerful. Your body does the healing; we just help it along.
Acupuncture works by stimulating the release of endorphins (the body’s natural feel-good chemical) and adenosine (the body’s natural painkiller). Furthermore, ultrasound tests have shown that acupuncture increases blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and improves oxygen flow and tissue function at the needle site. Neuroimaging studies have also shown that acupuncture can also increase the number of receptors for pain-reducing neurotransmitters.
For problems other than body pain, acupuncture works by sending nerve signals to the brain that regulate the automatic nervous system, which governs unconscious functions such as heart beat, respiration, and digestion.
Massage has similar effects to acupuncture. A recent study found recipients of massage had significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and increases in white blood cells that help enhance the immune system. They also had increased levels of oxytocin, a hormone associated with contentment.
There is also a large and growing body of medical research into the effectiveness of Eastern medicine. In 1997, the National Institute of Health conducted a review of the research on date on acupuncture, concluding that it should be included in a comprehensive health care system:
For more on how Eastern medicine works:
For more on Eastern medicine for specific conditions: