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 Traditional Chinese Medicine: Chinese Medicine: How It Works 

Formulas Combine Benefits
Chinese herbs are usually combined in formulas to enhance thier properties and actions.Symptoms and signs are matched with therapeutic effects, reflecting the particular conditions and needs of each patient. Tonic formulas restore eroded body resourses; regulating formulas decongest the Qi, Moisture, and Blood , relieving discomfort; and purging formulas eliminate adverse climates, inviting clear weather.

Formulas are available in a variety of forms: crude herbs to be boiled into tea, liquid bottled extracts, ground herbs packaged in pills, and powders. Herbs, more like foods than drugs, can suppliment our diet and fortify our constitution as well as prevent or remedy ailments. Sometimes long-term use of herbs is desireable whereas extended use of pharmaceuticals would not be healthy.

"Tommy missed a lot of school due to perpetual ear and sinus infections. Changes in his diet along with acupuncture and herbs has made him more resilient than his friends, and his learning disabilities also faded away."--Tommy Hansen, age 7

How Western and Chinese Medicine Differ
Because Chinese medicine views people as ecosystems in miniature, it seeks to improve our capacity to balance and renew our resources. Chinese medicine can minimize the erosion of our soil by enriching it, maximize the flow of nutrients by increasing circulation, and help prevent bottlenecks that obstruct movement.

Often Western medicine intervines only after crisis arise, whereas Chinese medicine anticipates problems by sustaining our interior landscape. By correcting depletion and stagnation at earlier stages, greater problems later on are avoided.

Sometimes Western medicine has nothing to offer for nagging chronic complaints that Chinese medicine can help. The two are not a substitute for each other. They are often complementary. Whereas Western medicine may heroically rescue us, Chinese medicine can protect and preserve our health day to day.

Regulation of Practice
The regulation of health care practices differs from state to state. Since 1976 California has licensed qualified acupuncturists as primary care providers through its Board of Medical Quality Assurance. Safe an effective practice standards have beed established by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists (NCCA). All practitioners certified by this Commission or the state comply with strict requirements for sterile needles. Many health insurance policies elect to cover acupuncture treatment.

"As a result of chemotherapy, I suffered mild heart failure and kidney shut-down, preventing me from qualifying for another series of chemo treatments. Three weeks after I began acupuncture and herbal therapy, I stopped being short of breath and my kidney funtion labs improved dramatically. My oncologists were very impressed."--Barbara Landin, age 34

Is Chinese Medicine for You?
Chinese medicine can effectively treat acute and chronic conditions and provide preventive care. To discover whether Chinese medicine is helpful for you, try it.

To learn more read:
Between Heaven And Earth:
A Guide to Chinese Medicine

by Beinfield, Harriet & Korngold
Ballantine Books, 1991
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 About The Author
Harriet Beinfield LAcHarriet Beinfield, L.Ac. and Efrem Korngold, L.Ac., O.M.D. have pioneered the practice of Chinese medicine in America for the last 28 years as educators, writers, and practitioners. They are the co-authors of the......more
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