Traditional Chinese Medicine: Why it is an important aspect of preventative health

We have all heard it- Prevention is better than cure.

What conditions are you keen on preventing? Perhaps it’s the migraines or anxiety you experience when your work load doubles. Perhaps its the pain and achiness in your shoulder and neck from sitting too long at the job and then running out to be a week-end warrior. Perhaps it’s the indigestion that makes you miserable every time you have dessert. Perhaps it’s the diabetes or heart disease that runs in your family?

The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease” Thomas Edison

Life is stress, and life can throw us off-balance. We live in a region of the world where the leading causes of death are chronic lifestyle illnesses, of which stress plays a major role. Stress ages us and reduces our quality of life. Yet our present healthcare system does not effectively manage the effects of stress or prevent disease. According to one study, stress related illnesses cost the Canadian people over 33 billion in lost productivity and millions more in medical costs. Seventy-five to ninety percent of all doctor visits are related to stress.

Stress management must be an important aspect of future healthcare. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a key tool we can use to address the effects of stress in our lives.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete medical system that encompasses acupuncture, chinese massage and herbal therapy. TCM comes from a culture where illness is not acceptable. In ancient China an emperor’s physician could lose his life if his chief patient was unhealthy. The same was true for village doctors, who depended on the health of the village for food and shelter.

Good health in TCM can be defined as balance. TCM practitioners believe adamantly that when the body is in a state of balance disease cannot exist.  In a balanced body the energy (or electrical current) that keeps us alive flows through our bodies correctly. This energy is known as qi/ chi or prana in the east. When this energy does not circulate properly imbalance and sickness occurs. TCM works to restore balance, by regulating the flow of energy through our bodies, so that our organs, our emotions and our minds remain healthy.

Why wait until you are sick to start taking care of something as precious as your health? An acupuncture treatment may seem a bit unpleasant at first, or even frightening, because it involves being needled. But ask any of the thousands of people who use it today – most of the time they don’t feel the needles as they are inserted, and if they do, the sensation is similar to a mosquito bite. Treatments are profoundly restful and relaxing and the effects of treatments are cumulative, so your health improves with each visit.

Future healthcare will properly address the negative effects of stress in our lives and help us to understand that good health requires constant management. Regular exercise, good sleep and good diet, and stress reduction practices like yoga, massage and acupuncture should and can no longer be ignored, if we want to enjoy optimal health and prevent ill-health.

 

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