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What Is Oriental Medicine?

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The system of healthcare that aims to treat the individual as a whole is known as Oriental medicine. As all holistic health approaches do, Oriental medicine, which includes TCM or traditional Chinese medicine, Tuina massage, acupressure, herbal medicine, and acupuncture, is designed to balance the spirit, body, and mind. These treatment modalities have already been in use even before the advent of modern civilization. In truth, Oriental medicine predates Christ’s birth by about five millennia.

Aside from nutritional counseling, practitioners of modern Oriental medicine often utilize a mixed bag of natural healing therapies when treating patients. They include Chinese herbal medicine, cupping therapy, moxibustion, Tai Chi, and acupuncture, among others.

Acupuncture in Cleveland

In Oriental medicine, acupuncture is grounded on the notion that the body is made up of energy channels or meridians. These channels have “acupoints” that control the flow of vital energy or chi. According to this belief, by inserting hair-like filiform needles into the acupoints, underlying problems can be treated. How? Acupuncturists believe that the sticking of needles at certain acupoints can help eliminate blockages, and enable Chi to freely flow unhindered throughout the meridians. This, in part, helps restore balance and health to the body and balances the life force.


Auriculotherapy or auricular acupuncture is a different type of acupuncture that some Oriental medicine practitioners administer to treat certain types of disease. This unique form of acupuncture entails the sticking of acupuncture needles into the meridians of the auricle or outer ear. Acupuncturists who offer this treatment are usually certified and uniquely trained in this procedure.

Practitioners of Oriental medicine can also treat patients using cupping or moxibustion therapies. In moxibustion, the herb or “mugwort,” or is used.

Cupping Therapy

In Oriental medicine, cupping is used to help eliminate toxins and negative blood from the body. Flame or heat is sometimes used and briefly applied to the inside of the cup(s). They are then immediately placed on the patient’s skin. This produces a suction-like effect on the skin. To promote pain relief and healing, practitioners of Chinese medicine slide the cup from one point to another. This method is also known as “gliding.”


In moxibustion therapy, Chinese herbs are grounded and burned. They then are applied onto the affected acupoints in the body or set on the upper tip of acupuncture needles. Moxibustion is designed to naturally warm these areas of the body and to help improve the flow of Chi.

Tai Chi

Doctors of Oriental medicine may also recommend as a natural health exercise to patients, Qigong and Tai Chi. Tai chi is a slow-motion, defense art widely known for its stress-reducing effects. Moreover, it can be a good way to enhance one’s range of motion and flexibility in the muscles and joints and to improve balance.


Qigong is usually combined as a breathing exercise with Tai Chi practice to maintain and improve health.

As with any health professional, one needs to verify the credentials of a potential doctor of Oriental medicine. Oriental medicine practitioners and acupuncturists should have the license to practice their profession in the State where they reside. To attain licensure, these practitioners are mandated by the State they live in to be certified with the NCCAOM or National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Written by Valerie

December 18th, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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