What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?
When most people ask me about acupuncture they seemed to assume that acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are synonymous. In fact, acupuncture is just one part of TCM. It also included, herbal medicine, nutritional therapy massage and manual therapy, and therapeutic exercises. Traditionally practitioners would specialize in a single field. Today, most schools teach all of these different areas and practitioners will integrate acupuncture and TCM together.
Acupuncture gained popularity in the United States in the 1970?s when China opened their doors to the United States. While working traveling with President Nixon in China, a New York Times reporter by the names of James Reston underwent emergency appendectomy surgery and had acupuncture as part of his post surgical recovery. He was so impressed with the results he published his experience in The New York Times.
Since that time Western medicine has investigated the benefits of acupuncture and how it works. Acupuncture is the fastest growing movement in the healthcare today. Over 8 million people receive treatments annually in the United States and that number continues to grow. Most commonly people will receive acupuncture for pain, including back pain, knee pain, arthritis, and sports injuries. It can also be used to treat migraines, IBS and digestive disorders, insomnia, neuropathies, and many other conditions.
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