Oriental medicine (OM), also known as Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a healing art that existed in some form or other for more than 3,000 years. Some of the earlier texts date back from the Han Dynasty (206 BCE to 220 ACE). In the western world, it is commonly known as acupuncture. However, acupuncture is only one of several modalities that physicians of TCM use to treat patients. TCM emphasizes the role of the body in the healing process and uses herbs and natural agents to maintain health. It is an effective form of treatment and a particularly safe form of therapy. TCM is a complete medical system that takes into account every aspect of human life to promote health and well-being. It sees the body as one whole entity like a “Garden” and encompasses its physical, emotional, energetic, as well as its spiritual aspects. It emphasizes on the “Vis medicatrix” the “healing power of nature” better known as “the inborn ability of the human body to respond to the insult of illness or injury and restore itself to health in most episodes of disease or trauma (Whorton, 2002, p. 6).” The goal for treatment is boosting the ecological condition to favor self-regulatory capacity. Physicians in the eastern world are trained to examine skin, complexion, bones, channels, smells, sounds, mental state, preferences, emotions, tongue, pulse, demeanor, and body build to discern patterns that underlie a patient’s complaints. TCM’s wholistic approach to healing addresses the underlying cause of disease, and allows the body to heal itself naturally. Physicians are taught to treat the cause not just the symptoms of an illness so that the body can function more efficiently and therefore ensuring true health.
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