Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

^^cupuncture is one of many components of what is known as traditional Chinese medicine, a healing method that has been in use for more than 2,000 years. Traditional Chinese medicine is used by approximately one-fourth of the world's population. In Western countries, the use of traditional Chinese medicine, especially acupuncture, has grown over the past two decades. It is estimated that more than one million Americans are treated with acupuncture yearly.

The recognition of acupuncture by Western medicine is not entirely new. In the late 1800s, Sir William Osler, one of the most honored and respected physicians and medical educators, wrote a textbook of medicine in which he recommended acupuncture for low back pain and sciatica. In 1901, Gray's Anatomy, a classic medical text, also referred to acupuncture as a treatment for sciatica.

There are five components of traditional Chinese medicine. In addition to acupuncture, they include traditional Chinese herbs, diet and nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and counseling, and massage. T'ai chi, which is discussed elsewhere in this book, is also a component of traditional Chinese medicine. This chapter discusses acupuncture as well as two types of herbal medicine: Asian herbal medicine and Asian proprietary (or patent) medicine.

Chinese Herbs

Chinese Herbs

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