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Oriental Medicine and Holistic Health

A brief journey into the world of alternative medicine that western medicine overlooks.
by

jacques townsend

on 14 April 2010

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Transcript of Oriental Medicine and Holistic Health

Oriental Medicine
Philosophy Fundamental Ideas Methods Conclusions By Jacques Townsend A brief overview of the philosophy, the applications, and the possibilities of integration of alternative and holistic medicine. Stemming from Daoist traditions. Philosophy for approaching life Focuses on the "way" All things in life eccentuate on the idea of being in balance with nature Constant struggles of the polar opposites The taoist symbol of Taijitu - also known as the symbol of the supreme ultimate The I Ching Focuses on the idea of Qi Fundamental essence of life The flow of energy throughout the universe Has many subsects of functions
Primary
Nutrient
Defense
The body is a vessel and our health is determined by the balance of our Qi When we get sick, there is an imbalance of our Qi
Relates to how Yin and Yang are constantly in conflict Restoring this off balance will ultimately restore out health
Oriental medicine focuses largely on preventative medicine and when diagnosing illnesses, practitioners look on the body as a whole. Throughout our body there are a myriad of channels and meridians This is where the qi flows Throughout channels there are small dots or holes This map of our body is the basis
for ancient and modern day
treatments in oriental medicine Physical Treatments Acupuncture Acupuncture works in conjunction with the established theories of the meridians and channels of Qi movement
When disease strikes, it's associated with the elements such as damp, wind, or fire, infiltrating the body and utilizing the body's own meridians to gain access to organs When diseases do occur, the symptoms will spread using the meridians and unbalance the body There are four symptomatic disorders with qi Stagnant Qi Deficient Qi Collapsed Qi Rebellious Qi When there is a problem with Qi, acupuncture works literally by puncturing a hole in where there is a build up of unbalanced Qi. "Bruce Pomeranz at the University of Toronto has written a very nice summary of current research on how acupuncture analgesia works in an article entitled "Acupuncture Analgesia - Basic Research" (9). He says that acupuncture stimulates nerve fibers in the muscle which send impulses to the spinal cord and activate the spinal cord, midbrain and hypothalamus/pituitary to cause analgesia. The spinal site uses enkephalin and dynorphin to block incoming messages. The midbrain uses enkephalin to activate the raphe descending system which inhibits spinal cord pain transmission. And at the hypothalamus/pituitary center the pituitary releases β-endorphin into the blood and cerebrospinal fluid to cause analgesia at a distan" Taken directly from:

http://www.compassionateacupuncture.com/How%20Acupuncture%20Works.htm Massage Works in virtually the same way as acupuncture Utilizing specific points on the body, acupressure can be used
as a way to trigger the release of hormones thereby causing cascades
of bodily reactions that alleviate pain and can aid in healing Trigger point therapy is an extremely important aspect to massage Irritable areas on skeletal muscle will produce nodules of taut strings of muscle
Palpitations of these nodules have been reported to alleviate pain Herbal Remedies Herbal medicine works in a way that coincides with the philosophy
of daoism just like acupuncture and massage. There are three classications of herbs that are carefully paired together and usually taken in soup, tea, or added to food. The Four Natures The Five Tastes The Meridians Specifically deal with the extremes
of yang and the extremes of yin Cold (extreme yin) Cool
Warm
Hot (extreme yang) Used in a way to balance
the body's symptoms Pungent, sweet, sour, bitter and salty tastes are all used in a way that will work to balance the body.
Ex) Pungent produces sweat and vitalize blood and qi

This classification determines which organs that are focused on specifically
Ex) Lungs and conflict with heat "wind"
As a person who has grown up all his life without the use of over-the-counter drugs, prescription medications, and other medicines, I've lived perfectly well and fine living a life of alternative medicine.

It may be difficult at times to realize the efficacy of alternative medicine because it's primitive in it's scientific proof.

Many people also believe the placebo effect plays a large part in the reported improvements.

Whatever the case, oriental medicine has thousands of years of history to back it up, and through careful research and education, it can very well be implemented into western medicine Currently, oriental medicinal practices such as acupuncture and massage are not covered by insurance companies, and as always, cultural barriers are a large part responsible.

With enough scientific research into how oriental medicine works, holistic medicine can easily become the new frontier of finding cures for diseases, but most importantly preventing it.

Lately, the ideas of anti-oxidants having cancer preventing qualities has become very popular, but practitioners of oriental medicine have had this quality to add to their health for thousands of years.

Not only do medicines that are purchased at drug stores have many associated side effects, they mask the true problems when a person is ill. A life of holistic health practices can literally eliminate many diseases from even taking root in the body.

Out of 18 years of my life, I've never really had the displeasure of experiencing a fever. I've never been able to skip elementary school with a temperature to blame. The worst I've had are bad allergy seasons and a cold from foolishly playing sports in the rain.
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