If you have any other questions please contact us                                                                      back to home



What is Chinese medicine & how does it work?

Chinese medicine is the oldest, professional, continually practical, literate medicine in the world. This medical system’s written literature stretches back almost 2,500 years. And currently ¼ of the world’s population makes use of it. One can say that modern Western and traditional Chinese medicine are the two dominant medical systems in the world today.

Back to Top


Isn’t Chinese medicine just a system of folk healing?

No. This system has been created by some of the best-educated and brightest scholars in Chinese history. These scholars have recorded their theories and clinical experiences from generation to generation in literally thousands of books .It is estimated that there are between 30-40,000 extant books on Chinese   medicine written before the turn of the century. Since then, thousands more books and articles in professional journals have been written and published in the people’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Back to Top 


How does Chinese medicine work? 

Chinese medicine works by re-establishing balance and harmony within the body. This Means balance between yin and yang, balance between the five phases, balance between   the viscera and bowels, and balance between the Qi, blood, and body fluids. This balance is re-established by supporting the body’s healthy or righteous energy and Attacking any unhealthy or evil energy. 

Back to Top


How does the Chinese medical practitioner determine what is out of balance? 

Practitioners of Chinese medicine diagnose what is out of balance in a person’s body by employing four basic examinations .the first is questioning about one’s signs and symptoms, medical history, and course of disease .The second is visually inspecting one’s face, body, and especially one’s tongue and its coating .The third is listening to one’s voice and the sound of one’s breathing as well as smelling any odors emanating from one’s body or excretions. And the fourth is palpating various areas of the body and especially the pulse at both wrists. Using a combination of one’s signs and symptoms, tongue diagnosis, and pulse diagnosis, the practitioner can determine the pattern of disharmony, which requires rebalancing. 

Back to Top


How is this rebalancing accomplished? 

If something is too hot, the practitioner seeks to cool it down. If something is too cool, They try to warm it up. If something is too wet, they try to dry it, while if something is too dry, they try to moisten it. If something is too much, they try to make it less. And if Something is too little; they try to build it up. If something is stuck, they try to move it, and if something is flowing inappropriately, they try to make it flow in the right direction and amount. 

Back to Top


What methods are used to re-establish balance within one’s body? 

The main professionally applied methods of re-establishing balance are Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture / moxibustion. Chinese herbal medicines may be prescribed internally or applied externally. Acupuncture and moxibustion seek to regulate the flow of Qi and blood within the body by either inserting fine, sterile needles at certain acupoints by various methods .In addition, Chinese medical practitioners may also use tuina or anmo, styles of Chinese massage, they may prescribe remedial or preventive exercises, such as taiji, qigong, or daoyin, and they typically counsel their patients on diet and lifestyle, all according to the theories of Chinese medicine. 

Back to Top


What is Chinese medicine good for?  

Chinese medicine is a complete medical system, which attempts to treat the full range of diseases, cute and chronic, traumatic, infectious, and internally generated.  That being said, if a disease is extremely virulent or far advanced, and especially if there are serious changes in organic tissues, Chinese medicine by itself is something not powerful enough or too slow .In particular, Chinese medicine is an excellent and effective choice at the beginning of any disease or for diseases which modern Western medicine either does not understand or for which it has no effective treatment. 

Back to Top


Is Chinese medicine safe?  

Very. When practiced correctly by trained, qualified professional practitioners, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are extremely safe. In fact, when practiced correctly, they have no side effects and produce no iatrogenic or doctor-caused disease. If a patient reports side effects from   a Chinese medical treatment, the practitioner modifies the treatment until there is healing without side effects. This is because Chinese medicine seeks to restore balance to the entire person, not just the piece or part. Side effects mean there is imbalance, which needs to be corrected. 

Back to Top


Does Chinese medicine only work for Chinese? 

Chinese medicine has worked for thousands of years on literally billions of people. Because of the diverse population of China and its varied geography, Chinese medicine has proven itself effective on all sorts of ethnic groups in all sorts of climates and lifestyles. In fact, Chinese medicine is so universally effective that the World Health organization has selected it for worldwide propagation. At this time, thousands of practitioners around the world are proving every day that Chinese medicine works no matter where one lives or to what race one belongs. 

Back to Top


How can I find a practitioner of Chinese medicine? 

In the United States, most practitioners of Chinese medicine are licensed or certified as acupuncturists. Therefore, the best way to find a professionally qualified practitioner of Chinese medicine is to look in your Yellow pages under acupuncture. Be sure your practitioner is state licensed, registered, or certified if acupuncture is regulated in your state. In addition, practitioners who follow their names with the abbreviations Dipl. Ac. and Dipl. C.H. are nationally board certified in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine respectively. Chinese medicine as a system is extremely complicated and extensive. It is not just a collection of techniques that can be added to some other health care profession. Just as one does not call an electrician to fix their plumbing, one should only seek treatment from professionally trained and qualified practitioners of Chinese medicine. 

Back to Top


What’s the difference between Western folk herbalism and Chinese herbal medicine?  

Western folk herbalism primarily treats diseases or symptoms, such as headaches, runny nose, menstrual pain, etc. Chinese herbal medicine, when practiced as a part of TCM, is based on an individualized pattern diagnosis as well as a disease diagnosis. Your pattern is made up of your signs and symptoms, your emotional temperament and the overall composition of your body. The TCM patient receives a custom written herbal prescription designed to treat their individual pattern as well as the symptom or disease.  

Back to Top


Are there any other differences? 

Western folk herbalism usually focuses on one symptom or disease at a time and use a single herb or groups of herbs for treatment. TCM formulas are crafted to treat your entire pattern as well as the symptoms or disease that prompted you to seek treatment. TCM formulas may include six to eighteen herbs to treat the symptoms or disease as well as your entire pattern.  

Back to Top


Are all the “herbs” vegetable in origin? 

Chinese herbal medicine may include vegetable, animal, and mineral ingredients; however, the majority of ingredients are from vegetable sources. Leaves, flowers, twigs, stems, roots, tubers, rhizomes, and bark are among the parts of the vegetable used.  

Back to Top


Do all the herbs come from Chinese? 

The Chinese adopted and incorporated herbs from all over the world. Fifteen to twenty percent of the 500 ingredients considered standard originated from outside Chinese. What makes these “Chinese” herbs is that they are prescribed according to Chinese medical theory and a TCM pattern diagnosis.  

Back to Top


Does Chinese herbal medicine work for Western patients? 

Yes, Chinese herbal medicine works as well for Westerners as it does for Chinese. Chinese herbal medicine has been used successfully in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and all throughout Asia. 

Back to Top


How are Chinese herbal medicines taken? 

The most common method of taking Chinese herbal medicine is drinking a liquid, prepared   by boiling the selected herbs. There are also herbal pills, tinctures, and powdered extracts for those who do not have the time or taste for drinking the more traditional liquid form. 

Back to Top


What are the benefits of drinking Chinese herb medicines in liquid form? 

This method allows the practitioner maximum flexibility in writing a prescription. They can put in just what is necessary in just the right amounts. The formula can be changed frequently, if necessary, and the liquid forms tend to be more potent than other means of administration. 

Back to Top


Why do liquid herbal medicines taste so bad? 

Chinese herbal teas tend to taste very bitter because they are made mostly from roots and bark where the strongest medicinal ingredients are found. The bitter taste may go away after a day or two.  

Back to Top


What are the benefits of pills and powders? 

Pills and powders are good for:

 Pills and powders are also commonly used to continue therapeutic results after a successful initial treatment with liquid herbal medicine. 

Back to Top


Do Chinese herbal medicines have side effects? 

Most of the components of Chinese herbal medicine have a very low toxicity compared to even common, over-the-counter western drugs. When they are prescribed according to a correct TCM pattern diagnosis, they should have few, if any, side effects, only beneficial healing results. If you experience any discomfort while taking Chinese herbal medicine, tell your practitioner who will modify the formula until there are no side effects.  

Back to Top


 What is Chinese herbal medicine good for? 

Chinese herbal medicine treats the full range of human disease. It is used to treat:

 Chinese herbal medicine is especially good for promoting the body’s ability to heal and recover from illness. 

Back to Top


Can pregnant women take Chinese herbs? 

A professional TCM practitioner can write prescriptions that are appropriate for pregnant women and lactating mothers. 

Back to Top


Can children take Chinese herbal medicine? 

Yes again. Pediatrics is a specialty within TCM and children can be given reduced dosages. There are also specially prepared pediatric medicine can treat colic, the fussiness of teething, earache, diarrhea, cough, and fever in babies and children.  

Back to Top


How long does it take to see results with Chinese herbal medicine? 

In acute conditions, results may occur in a matter of minutes. In chronic conditions, some results should be seen within two weeks. Although chronic conditions may require taking Chinese herbal medicine for a long time, signs that the medicine is working should be apparent to the patient and practitioner alike almost from the very start. 

Back to Top


How do I know if a practitioner is professionally trained in Chinese herbal medicine? 

Although Chinese herbal medicines are safe when prescribed by a trained, knowledgeable practitioner, they are strong medicine. Patients should ask about where the practitioner trained, how long the training was, how long he or she has been in practice, and what experience the practitioner has in treating the patient’s specific ailment. Chinese herbal medicine may be part of the testing done where acupuncture is a licensed and regulated healthcare profession. Ask your practitioner if your state requires license to practice; about half the states do. In states that do not currently require licensing, patients should ask their practitioner if they are certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture (NCCA). NCCA has created a certification process for Chinese herbal medicine. Practitioners who have passed that certification are entitled to add the abbreviation Dipl. C.H. after their name. 

Back to Top


How can acupuncture help me?


Oriental medicine treats diseases and also improves health and vitality. The goal of each treatment to restore individual health and well-being. Acupuncture can improve circulation, relax muscles, reduce swelling and stimulate the release of endorphins to help you feel better. Each treatment is tailored to the individual. According to the World Health Organization, acupuncture is an effective treatment for such conditions as:

Back to Top


How Does Acupuncture Work In Conjunction With Other Forms of Health Care?

Acupuncture readily compliments other forms of healthcare.  When Western medical care is needed, as might be the case in acute, traumatic or severe organic disease, acupuncture can still be of assistance.  In a situation where someone who has recently undergone surgery, for example, acupuncture can help in supporting a swift recovery.  We work closely with medical doctors and other health professionals should consultation or referral be appropriate. 

Back to Top


How Often Will I Need Treatment?

The frequency of treatments varies from person to person, depending on the severity and duration of the illness or complaint.  Normally, at the beginning of the treatment process, 1 to 2 visits a week are necessary.  As the healing progresses, the treatments are spread out to once every other week, to once a month and then a few times a year for prevention if so desired. 

Back to Top


What Is Your Role In The Healing Process?

The healing process is one of self-responsibility, or responding to oneself.  This is essential for the both practitioner and patient in any health care setting, to enter into a partnership where responsibility is shared.  Together, we begin to understand how healing occurs, we take on new relationship to our symptoms and illnesses.  We start to see how they give us important messages as to where we are most vulnerable and provide in themselves the keys to moving beyond them in achieving well-being.  We become attuned to our needs and rhythms and realize we are an interconnected whole of body/mind/emotions/spirit.  We more clearly understand the internal and external factors (diet, exercise, environmental stress, attitudes, fears, worries, etc.)  which contribute to our state of health.  Instead of being reactive to illness, we choose to become pro-active in preventing illness and learn manage our own health effectively.

Back to Top


Is there anything I should do or not do before or after a treatment?

It is important to eat some solid food so you do not go to the treatment feeling hungry. It is also important not to be under the influence of alcohol, excessive caffeinated liquids (coffee, tea, and soda), or a heavy meal. After a treatment, try to avoid anything very hot or cold and avoid extreme shifts in body temperature such as steam baths, cold plunges etc. Plan a relaxed evening. You may shower or bathe before a treatment, but don't bathe directly afterward.  

Back to Top


What conditions may be treated with acupuncture?

 Acupuncture is a system which can influence three areas of health care:

 While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a
 well-trained practitioner it has a much broader application.

Back to Top


back to home
Revised: July 19, 2004 .