Complementary and Alternative medicine?

After the years of study and practice, I now have trouble thinking in these terms.? This medicine seems like such a logical, and “normal” way to maintain health.? It has low risk of side effects, it’s a safe and natural way to maintain and restore health, without using drugs, injections or surgery. It makes me wonder why a lot of the patients who come to Traditional Chinese Medicine are here as a “last ditch effort.”? It would seem that one might try this first before moving on to more invasive therapies.? And yet, I hear friends and acquaintances discussing hormone patches and surgeries as if this were a normal and expected consequence of coming into middle age.

TCM is included in all categories of Alternative Medicine.? We are in the Alternative Medical Systems (along with Ayurvedic medicine, Naturopathy etc.);?? the Mind-Body interventions (meditation, prayer, healing art/music etc.);? Manipulative and Body Based Treatments (chiropractic, TuiNa massage, etc);? Biologically Based Therapies (herbs, foods, vitamins, aromatherapy);? and Energy Treatments (bio-field therapies like Qigong, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch etc.).?? With all of this going on, I can’t think of a more complete system being offered today.

Western medicine sure has it’s unique benefits and strengths.? It is often more appropriate for treating acute illnesses or injuries requiring advanced diagnostic tools, surgery or technology.? Western medicine is purely scientific, based on standards and evidence drawn from inferences made from tests.

Chinese medicine is a healing art based on thousands of years of use.? It relies on experience over time through numerous trials and clinical observations.? I think of the human body not in terms of pure science nor pure art but a combination of these elements, the classic mind/body/spirit.

Of course, I am smitten with this practice, the extended time I get to spend with people, the opportunity to touch patients with healing energy, and the amazing and often rapid results I get to see,? the relief that I get to provide to people who are sometimes shocked that this medicine, “complementary and alternate” to the established system, is what brought them the relief they were seeking.

~Leslie Prairie L.Ac.

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