Note: This is an edited version of a blog post titled "The Trouble with Cold" originally published on August 3, 2016 by Dr. David White, owner of Classical Acupuncture Sydney.
The classical Chinese Medicine approach to the body is very unique and unlike any other medical system in the world. It always takes into account the body's relationship with the external environment and climate. In the early medical texts, disease names were often attributed to natural phenomena, such as "wind," "heat," "cold," etc. Cold is considered to be the most harmful, but what exactly does a cold disease look like in the human body?
A cold-natured illness in Chinese Medicine does not always mean that real, palpable cold is present, but of course this can be the case. Rather, an illness may simply have characteristics of cold -- tissues which are in a state of contraction or constraint, impeded movement, etc. In Chinese Medicine this is called Bi 痺 (pronounced "Bee"). Bi is often translated as "pain", "numbness," or "paralysis" in modern Chinese, but it is much more than that in the classical sense of the word. If we look at what happens to us when we are exposed to the cold of winter, or whenever we consume large amounts of cold food and drink, we can get a sense of what the old texts are referring to when they use the term Bi -- we shiver, our muscles tighten, our energy level drops, etc.
Cold illness can include what is often referred to as the "common cold," with symptoms such as chills, fever, pain, sweating, thirst, nasal congestion, sore throat, etc. These exterior disease patterns may be seen at anytime of the year, not only in winter, and many patients are chronically stuck within an acute-type of presentation where they feel better for a while and then their symptoms return again. The period of time when they are not dealing with their symptoms and seem to be cured is actually another manifestation of a cold, damaged body that must be repaired before the situation worsens.
Cold can damage any part of the body, including the internal organs themselves. Pain and tightness may be still be a part of the symptom picture in this case, but other specific signs will manifest as well. These may include copious, clear urination; diarrhea; rumbling sounds in the abdomen; a lack of desire to drink water; shortness of breath; etc.
How do we treat cold or Bi presentations? This is not a simple task. Warming the area may help, which can be done in a variety of ways, but what is most important is that we address the proper level(s) within the body in which the disease is found. Our treatment principles change according to how and where illness is occurring. We must thoroughly investigate the acupuncture channel terrain -- which includes the skin, bones, organs, and so forth -- in order to choose the proper methods for treating the person at that particular time, and on that particular day.
For more information on this topic, or to schedule an appointment with Great Nature Oriental Medicine, please contact Clint at (618) 694-5189. Thanks for reading!
In Good Health,
Clint Cain, L.Ac.
I will be giving a FREE presentation on Saturday March 4, 2017 at my clinic in Johnstown, Colorado, which is located at 9 N. Parish Avenue.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine are about much more than the treatment of pain. This time-tested, clnically-proven medical system goes back thousands of years, and can help anyone, with any condtion, live a healthier and more enjoyable life.
Please join me as I discuss the many benefits Chinese Medicine, what it is, and what to expect during each visit.
I am looking forward to seeing you there!
I will be giving a free presentation about acupuncture and Chinese Medicine on Saturday September 3, 2016 at 12:00 p.m.. This event will be held at B's Coffee Shop in Johnstown, Colorado. Please join me as I discuss the many benefits of this amazing medicine, what acupuncture is, and what to expect during each visit.
I'm looking forward to seeing you there!
Great Nature Oriental Medicine will be offering Kototama Sound Meditation classes twice in July--the 9th and 23rd. This event will be held at Johnstown Healing Arts, which is located at 9 N. Parish Ave. Johnstown, Colorado, from 11 a.m. - noon. The cost to attend is only $5.
Kototama means, "the souls of words." This is the study of the universal sounds that create words and language, and their effects on all of Life, including the functioning of the human body and mind. Sound mediation practice can stimulate the various functions of body and mind, rejuvenate one's self-healing mechanisms, and reveal any dysfunctional tendencies of the body and mind. As one of my teachers, William Gleason Sensei, writes, "Kototama is the function of life and creation... It is the root of thought itself, and therefore of all spoken language. It's a tool for understanding our common origins and our ultimate unity."
Class will start promptly at 11 a.m., so please be on time. For more information, please contact Clint at 618-694-5189.
There are a lot of healthcare practitioners using acupuncture needles in their clinics that have very little, if any, training in traditional, authentic acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Many chiropractors, medical doctors, and physical therapists may be using these tools, and on the surface of things the vast majority of the population sees no difference between what they are doing and what someone trained in traditional Oriental Medicine is doing in the clinic. That's why I chose to write this blog and outline a comparison among the training that each medical professional goes through, if they so choose, in order to become licensed to practice acupuncture. I mean no disrespect to any healthcare providers regarding their skills or qualifications. Ultimately, all that matters is that patients get the help that they need.
I graduated with a Master's Degree in the Science of Oriental Medicine, or MSOM for short. This means that during my graduate education I fulfilled at least 1,490 hours of clinical and classroom training in acupuncture and Western medicine, and at least 2,050 hours of clinical and classroom training in Chinese herbal medicine. After graduating, I then had to pass four national exams, which covered the fundamentals of Oriental Medicine, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and Western Medicine. Then, I was allowed to apply for my state license so that I could legally practice.
The American Board of Chiropractic Acupuncture provides national testing for chiropractic acupuncture. Licensed chiropractors are allowed to sit for the exam after completing only 300 hours of training in acupuncture, of which only 90% has to be onsite learning, while the other 10% may be completed via recorded lecture and at-home study. Their knowledge and skill regarding acupuncture only applies to treating conditions of pain, unlike an L.Ac (Licensed Acupuncturist) or LOM (Licensed Oriental Medicine Practitioner). who is able to treat a wide variety of conditions using acupuncture, bodywork, and herbal medicine.
Similar training requirements apply to MDs--300 hours of training with only 100 hours of practice time needed within 2.5 years. MDs are only required to apply for recertification of their acupuncture training every 10 years, whereas an L.Ac. or LOM must apply for recertification every 4 years.
Physical therapists learn "acupuncture" via online courses quite often. They can be certified to practice "practical acupuncture," a style of "dry needling" that is used solely for musculoskeletal disorders. Its focus is on finding and needling, often very aggressively, trigger points, neuromuscular points, etc. The Ohio Physical Therapy Practice Act does not require any additional training for PTs to practice this modality other than the very short 27 or 37 hour courses that are available. There have been multiple documented cases of PTs injuring patients during a "dry needling" session, most often causing pneumothorax (collapsed lung) or nerve damage.
I should point out that neither a lot nor a little training in any skill, acupuncture or otherwise, directly reflects the overall competency of an individual practitioner. Use your best judgment when choosing a healthcare provider for yourself and your family.
If you'd like to learn more about how traditional Japanese acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help you, please contact me at 618-694-5189.
This page is intended to serve as a source for links to blogs and articles about acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine that both new and returning patients may find informative and/or entertaining. It is also where I will share information about the history, principles, and benefits of this awesome medicine.