Peaceful Mountain Acupuncture

A weekly blog about Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States

This blog is going to be, primarily a venue for me to express my thoughts about Life and the complexities of the physical plane. My story is simple, I am an easy going individual and a moderate recluse. I am comfortable walking or sitting, talking or being silent. I am always seeking new friends and acquaintenances. I tend to look deeply and question myself about the lesson behind the experience. If you like what you read, please leave me a note, if you have a blog please leave me a link so I can read your writing as well. Thanks

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Simplifed TCM (Out of my archives)

A Simplified Explanation of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on pattern differentiation. To arrive at a diagnosis the practitioner uses questions, palpation and pulse diagnosis to discriminate which pattern is primary in the patient’s complaint. Once the pattern has been identified the treatment protocol is easily determined. Pattern discrimination can be done by any one of ten separate distinct models, commonly used in conjunction. One common differentiation is called “Eight Principle Differentiation.” In this model patterns can be divided into eight basic groups; four of which are excess, deficiency, heat, or cold. Then each of these primary patterns will also be a blend of the remaining three. It is accepted as a statement of fact in TCM that if there is excess there must also be an underlying deficiency.

It is also paramount for the purposes of any discussion to remember that when I refer to an organ I am referring to the “Chinese energetic complex” associated with that organ, I am not referring to the Western bio-medical physical organ. I will capitalize the Chinese energetic complex (Kidney) to differentiate from the Western bio-medical physical organ (kidney). While there is always a degree of overlap it is important to not presume that the Chinese energetic complex is even similar to the Western bio-medical organ.

One of the main differences when compared to “Western” allopathic medicine is how one “disease” can be from many different patterns, and one pattern can manifest as many different “diseases.”

As examples the experience of insomnia can be caused from eight distinctly different TCM patterns. Further investigation reveals four of these are classified as excess and four are classified as deficient. For each of these eight different patterns the treatment is different than the others.

Alternatively the TCM pattern of “blood deficiency” can create at least six separate patterns ranging from dysmenorhea to constipation, from headaches to mental-emotional problems.
Because TCM uses pattern differentiation to determine the underlying cause of the “disease” manifestation there is a language barrier when it comes to discussing disease and treatments with allopathic doctors. While TCM does not use the same language to discuss a specific disease we do have the ability to treat the disease. This barrier in communication is not just a Chinese to English language barrier, this is an entirely different paradigm of how one looks at the entire universe, humanity and the human body.

To begin with, in “Western” medical science a phenomenon must be measurable, and quantifiable, in “Chinese” medical science this is not always the situation. To discuss the “life-force” known as qi one has to set aside the concept of a phenomenon having to be measurable or quantifiable. Even in TCM qi would not be “measurable” or quantifiable; however we do discuss qi in terms of excess or deficiency and in terms of blockage or stagnation.

In order to develop an integrative approach to treating our patients I feel it will be advantageous to rely on our own strengths and diagnosis; yet be open to and not pre-judge a differing opinion. As an example if a patient is diagnosed as having diabetes complicated with diabetic nephrosis a TCM diagnosis might be “Spleen Qi Vacuity” complicated with “Kidney Qi Vacuity and Blood Stasis.” While both of these diagnoses may be technically correct, depending on the presenting signs and symptoms, the practitioners may not be able to communicate with one another about the diagnosis and or treatment protocol. My understanding of this is that as long as both practitioners are open to and respectful of the others abilities we can work with the two paradigms of treatment. Because TCM is a very non-invasive, subtle medicine it has the ability to blend in with allopathic medicine.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Approaching the Gates

Welcome to my Blog. I will attempt to keep my blog updated weekly, or more frequently as time and desire allows.
This blog is about my Acupuncture Clinic in Tucson Arizona. Though my thoughts about life will also sneek in.
I am a graduate of Southwest Acupuncture College in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I graduated in 2000 with a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine. I am a nationally certified diplomat of Acupuncture (NCCAOM) and a Licensed Acupuncturist in Arizona (AZ #240).
I find acupuncture work to be very rewarding, and very challenging. The reward is from the smile on my patients' faces, the challenge is paying the bills.
Currently I am attempting to develop connections with local midwives and birthing centers to help facilitate delivery; I am also developing connections with local hospices. There is something about working birth's and deaths that calls to me. Working both ends of the gate I guess.
Our society has such a phobia about death, it is sad. The only thing I ever guarantee anyone is that someday your physical carcass will die. Sorry to be so blunt about it, but lets accept that as fact. Our fear of death does not serve our society, our families, nor ourselves when our time comes. We need to develop a way to have realistic conversations about this reality.
We also need to find a way to talk about birth, preganacy and the beauty of life. To see a woman hold her newborn babe and actually see the maternal bond as it forms is a gift from God (no matter what word you personally choose to define/describe the entity that created all).

So, I will continue to develop my profession as I continue to develop myself. I will gladly approach the gates and help whoever I can as they cross into the next level of their incarnation. I will also cross the gate whenever my time comes.
Thanks for taking a moment of your time to read this. Please feel free to add any comentary you may have.