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What is Asian Medicine?

Asian medicine is based on a tradition of many thousands of years, and includes herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage (Tui na), exercise (Qigong), and dietary therapy. Although these practices have been considered alternative medicine in the Western world, they are a common part of medical care throughout East Asia and are quickly gaining currency among Western patients.

While the Western view of health is primarily concerned with treating individual ailments and diseases, Asian medicine is a more holistic approach that views all of the parts of the human body as interrelated and interdependent; in other words, each part is dependent upon and affected by the others. Asian medicine also takes seriously the fact that a person¡¯s health is affected by his/her lifestyle and environment.

Asian medicine can at first seem complicated to the typical Western patient who is unfamiliar with the underlying concepts. At the same time, because it developed over thousands of years of practice, it can also seem very essential and organic. Fortunately, as patients continue to learn and experience this form of medicine they become more comfortable and trusting of it.

In Asian medicine, health is perceived as harmonious interaction of the human being and his/her world; disease is interpreted as a disharmony in interaction. Diagnosis consists in tracing symptoms to an underlying pattern of disharmony.

Energy Concept in Asian Medicine

Qi is life-force -- that which animates the forms of the world. It is the vibratory nature of phenomena -- the flow and tremoring that is happening continuously at molecular, atomic and sub-atomic levels.

Qi is the life force that gives us the ability to move, think, feel, and work.  Qi flows through the body in meridians (channels).  Each of these meridians is connected to a specific organ or a group of related organs.  The five networks are as follows:

  • Kidney: responsible for reproduction and growth in the body.  Disturbances in this network include: delayed growth, infertility, low back pain, paranoia, unclear thinking, weak vision, despair.
  • Heart: pumps blood through the vessels, maintains the body¡¯s spirit, and governs the mind.  Disturbances in this network include: anxiety, restless sleep, heart spasm.
  • Spleen: controls food digestion and clear thinking.  Disturbances in this network include: indigestion, bloating, fatigue, scattered thinking, poor concentration.
  • Liver: responsible for storage of blood, flow of qi, and temper control. Disturbances in this network include: neck and shoulder tension, high blood pressure, headaches, cramping, moodiness, impulsive behavior.
  • Lung: sets the body¡¯s rhythm and allows the body to inhale oxygen.  Disturbances in this network include: chest tightness, unhappiness, propensity to colds and flu.

Asian medicine strives to restore and maintain the balance of the two primary energy forces in life, the Yin and the Yang.  


Restoring the Balance

Establishing balance in the body is accomplished through the following:

  • If something is too hot, we seek to cool it down
  • If it is too cool, we seek to warm it.
  • If it is too wet, we seek to dry it.
  • If it is too dry, we seek to moisten it.
  • If it is too much, we seek to make it less.
  • If is too little, we seek to build it up.
  • If it is stuck, we seek to move it.
  • If it is flowing inappropriately, we seek to make it flow in the right direction and amount.


Our Goal

There is an old American saying ¡°An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure¡±. Asian Medicine¡¯s number one goal is to prevent illness, while treating disease is the second goal. So our work here at Zen Acupuncture Clinic is to make your body healthy so it can protect from disease (or recover fast), leading to a happy, pain-free longevity and a quality of life worth living.