Natural Medicine for a Healthy Life
Understanding Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture, and Herbology
Oriental Medicine is a whole system of medicine that integrates many therapies, and is applied by practitioners to treat illness and disease. Of these therapies, Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology are the most popular in the United States. Some additional therapies include: diet, nutrition and lifestyle counseling, as well as Tai Qi and Qi Gong (physical exercise), and Tui’na (manual therapies).
How Does This System Work?
It has been scientifically determined that human beings are unique bio-energetic systems. For thousands of years Oriental Medicine has acknowledged that there is a vital life force that flows through all the things which is called “Qi.” In western culture, it is often referred to as “energy.”
Energy (Qi) flows along pathways in the human body, which are related to the organs, the muscular system, and nervous system. When the balance of this energy is disturbed due to trauma, poor diet, medications, stress, hereditary conditions, environmental factors, or excessive emotional issues, then pain or illness results.
Oriental Medicine focuses on correcting these imbalances, which stimulates the body’s natural ability to heal itself. In other words, Oriental Medicine focuses on treating the factors that cause disease.
Is it for You?
Oriental Medicine is used not only for pain management, but also as a holistic system of health care and health maintenance.
Certification, Licensing, and Registration
State agencies usually regulate the practice of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and most states have practice acts for the field of acupuncture. The National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) provides a national examination and certification process. Many states use the NCCAOM’s examination to meet licensing/registration requirements, while a few other states, such as California, have developed their own examination process.
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology are safe medical procedures and are well known for their efficacy and lack of side-effects when administered by a qualified practitioner. Most practitioners use pre-sterilized, disposable needles when administering an acupuncture treatment.
Many insurance companies currently cover acupuncture treatments. Check with your insurance carrier to determine your coverage. The AAAOM is working to inform insurers and the public in order to standardize payment practices and enhance accessibility to acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. For additional advice, ask your acupuncturist for suggestions regarding this issue.
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At The Center for Natural Medicine in Eagle River, Alaska, we use Naturopathic Medicine to provide a comprehensive approach to healing, based on the belief that the human body has the ability to heal itself.
Acupuncture is an ancient technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi (CHEE) — that flows through various pathways (or meridians) in the human body.