©NLCMAC 2015

Chinese Medicine

Chinese Medicine is probably one of the most Holistic medical systems available today. This means that it takes an integrated view of the person. Mind, body and emotions are seen to interact and affect each other. This is built into Chinese medical theory, which sees certain disease patterns giving rise to physical symptoms as well as specific mental or emotional states.

Chinese Medicine looks at the disease and the person. People are unique, with different strengths and weaknesses; therefore a disease pattern can be specific to them. Chinese Medicine has the capacity to give a unique diagnosis and corresponding treatment specific to the person.

The aim of treatment, in addition to relieving the main symptoms, is to restore overall harmony and health to the individual. It can therefore be used to prevent illness and enhance longevity Have you ever seen that drawing of two silhouettes looking at each other?

One moment you see two faces, the next moment, it's a vase. Which is it? Obviously it is just a matter of your perception or the way your brain links things such as the visual clues together.

That's the difference between Western medicine, and Chinese or Oriental medicine. Diagnosing the same patient with a lump in her breast, the Western Doctor will see a cyst, lesion, fibroid or cancer whereas the Chinese Medical doctor will see a stagnation of Qi, Blood, or Phlegm. The Western Doctor will seek to prove the diagnosis with a biopsy of the hardened tissue. The practitioner of Chinese medicine will feel the unique quality of the pulse at the radial artery which may feel "wiry" or kind of hard, like a guitar string bouncing up and down beneath your fingers (as opposed to other pulses that can feel softer and more flowing), observe the color and shape of the tongue looking for purple in particular, with possibly a thick yellow coating. Also used for diagnostic purposes will be seemingly unrelated symptoms such as a sensation of constriction in the chest, abdominal bloating, heightened emotional sensitivity and a tendency to be easily angered, and frequent headaches at the top or the sides of the head. This will allow the doctor of Chinese medicine to come up with a diagnosis of "Qi, Blood or Phlegm stagnation." Same symptoms, same signs, same patient, but very different ways of organizing the information.

Within each discipline, there is an enormous amount of time tested information that has its own logic and usefulness. Both Western and Chinese systems have their place. Some believe that the greatest strength of Western Medicine is in its trauma care and therapies for acute problems, while Chinese medicine excels in the areas of chronic problems and preventive medicine.


Acupuncture seeks to treat health on the level of Qi. There are pathways in the human body wherein this Qi flows. They are called meridians, or channels. They are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these acupuncture energy rivers is like a dam that backs up the flow in one part of the body and restricts it in others. Hairfine thin needles inserted along these meridians influence the Qi that flows to internal organs. It can affect both the structure and function of these organs. Needles can also work on specific areas of pain that may not be associated with internal problems, sports injuries, for example. A needle inserted near the area of a pulled tendon or overstrained muscle will increase the flow of Qi to that area which removes pain and quickens the healing process.

Sometimes rather than just inserting acupuncture needles, your practitioner may choose to use fine acupuncture tacks to stimulate over a long period of time or may use heat or mild electrical stimulation. The technique of heat is called moxibustion and the application of local electricity used is called electrostimulation. Acupuncture needles are all sterile and disposable.

The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal chord and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system. The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well being.

While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well- trained practitioner it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other medical treatment forms in many medical and surgical disorders.

The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including:
• Digestive disorders: gastritis and hyper-acidity, abdominal pain, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, ulcers, Irritable bowel syndrome.
• Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, hay fever, cough, asthma, and recurrent chest infections.
• Neurological and Muscular disorders: headaches, migraines, dizziness, facial paralysis, facial tics, stroke, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, tendonitis, arthritis, low back pain, sciatica, sports injuries, numbness, osteoarthritis.
• Women's & Men's problems: PMS, painful irregular heavy or absence of periods, menopausal problems, cystitis, thrush, impotence, and prostatitis.
• Emotional/Stress problems: anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia, nervousness and irritability.
• Also used for: low energy, tiredness, immune deficiency, poor vision, addictions (smoking, alcohol, tranquilizers, cocaine, crack, and heroin), skin problems.

There are a number of treatment methods available at the North London Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Clinic. They include the following:

HOME        |        ABOUT        |        SERVICES        |        FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS        |        LINKS        |        CONTACT