How Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Help You Stay Healthy


Today we have an article from our guest blogger, Seneca Dewbre, DAOM, LA.c, who holds an MA in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and is currently completing his PhD with specialization in Gynecology. Additionally, it is certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and licensed by the Texas Medical Board. Oklahoma does not have a licensing certification for acupuncturists at the moment. She has experience in private practice as well as outpatient hospital services and has 3,700 hours of clinical training. Seneca offers acupuncture treatment at INTEGRIS Troy and Dollie Smith wellness center.


Hi all. I am Seneca.

There’s a lot of talk about integrative medicine here on the On Your Health blog. But just what is this? A little reminder : Integrative medicine combines modern Western medicine with established alternative therapies from around the world. By connecting modern medicine with ancient practices of other healing traditions, integrative medicine seeks to maintain a person’s health holistically and harness the body’s natural resistance to disease. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a set of integrative medicine practices.

What exactly is Chinese medicine? This is a question I get asked quite often. Usually the first thing people think of when considering Chinese medicine is acupuncture. But TCM is a whole system of health care that includes but is not limited to acupuncture.

To put it simply, TCM is a way of looking at ourselves and our world that sees everything as a whole and sees everything in context. This is an ancient set of practices (established over 4000 years ago) from China. TCM works on the belief that all processes in the human body are interrelated and treats the body as a system as a whole. TCM aims to help the body achieve balance.

TCM practitioners look at the imbalances underlying a disease and look at the whole picture to treat the patient, rather than just the disease. TCM also believes that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. For example, acupuncture alerts the body’s nervous system and stimulates the body to release its own natural pain relievers and endorphins.

The TCM perspective applies to everything that affects our health and well-being – from our diet, exercise, and stress management to how we interact with our family, friends, and our environment. . TCM not only identifies and treats disease and prevents disease, but, just as important, optimizes health, well-being, and sustainability in our lives and the world.

TCM has always been an important component of healthcare in China, but in recent decades it has also grown in popularity in the Western world. Today, TCM practices can be found in many health centers and scientific studies have shown promising health benefits.

TCM practices include

  • Acupuncture
  • suction cups, a practice that an acupuncturist can use in conjunction with acupuncture to aid in recovery. The cupping therapist uses small glass cups placed on the skin and then heated or pumped to achieve suction. One way to achieve suction is to use a flame, which is quickly inserted and withdrawn with a hemostat in the cup. The cup is then placed on top of the skin to perform the suction. It is important to note that the flame is never directly on or near the skin.
  • Chinese herbal medicine
  • Tuina, a form of therapeutic massage that uses acupressure, where practitioners use the pressure of the fingers instead of needles, to stimulate the acupuncture point. It is frequently used in the treatment of superficial trauma and injuries and a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems.
  • Tai chi, a graceful form of exercise that involves a series of movements performed in a slow, targeted manner and accompanied by deep breathing. It is now used to reduce stress and anxiety and is often described as “meditation in motion” while also helping to increase flexibility and balance.
  • Qi Gong, a body-mind practice that integrates posture, body movements, breathing and meditation, designed to improve mental and physical health.

Today, the concept of health and wellness is increasingly integrated between Western and Eastern medicine. This is incredible news! As practitioners of all kinds of medicines, it is important for all of us to recognize the value of each other and to learn to work together to achieve the best results for our patients.

One of the most recent examples of Western medicine valuing Chinese medicine: A researcher specializing in TCM won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Scientist Youyou Tu from China turned to traditional herbal medicine to meet the challenge of develop a new treatment for malaria.

Malaria was usually treated with chloroquine or quinine, but with much less success over the years. By the end of the 1960s, the disease was on the rise again.

You revisited ancient literature and discovered clues that guided it to successfully extract the active component from the Chinese herb Artemisia annua (otherwise known as wormwood) which was first discovered by practitioners. of TCM 1700 years ago. You were the first to extract the active component from the plant, later called Artemisinin, and helped scientifically clarify how it works.

This research has not only helped in clinical treatments, but can now be studied and replicated on a larger scale. It is highly effective against the malaria parasite and has unprecedented potency in the treatment of severe malaria. According to the Nobel Assembly, “The discovery of artemisinin revolutionized the treatment of patients with devastating parasitic diseases.

Returning to our premise of the importance of integrative medicine, this discovery would not have succeeded without a combination of an “East meets West” approach. Using clues from the history of TCM and using the medical knowledge and equipment of Western medicine, an exciting discovery has been made that will impact many sufferers around the world.

If you would like to talk to Seneca about TCM or plan acupuncture treatment with her, you can contact Seneca at the Wellness Center at (405) 773-6600.


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