Alternative System of Medicine Essay

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1. traditional oriental medicine Traditional oriental medicine is a sophisticated set of many systematic techniques and methods. Many of these methods are widely known in the United States, including acupuncture, herbal medicines, acupressure, qigong, and oriental massage techniques. Traditional oriental medicine is rooted in Chinese culture and has spread, with variations, throughout other Asian countries, particularly Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. As a professionalized health system, it has a range of applications from health promotion to the treatment of illness. The most striking characteristic of oriental medicine is its emphasis on diagnosing disturbances of qi (pronounced "chee"), or vital energy, in health and disease (Unschuld, 1985; Wiseman et al., 1985). Diagnosis in oriental medicine involves the classical procedures of observation, listening, questioning, and palpation, including feeling the quality of the pulses and the sensitivity of various body parts. Acupuncture. It is important to remember that acupuncture was but one branch among several therapies. It involves the direct manipulation of the network of energetic meridians, which are believed to connect not only with the surface or structural body parts but also to influence the deeper internal organs. The needle is inserted at appropriately chosen energetic points to disperse or activate the qi by a variety of technical manipulations. Western-style research showing that acupuncture could relieve pain and cause surgical analgesia through the release of pain-inhibiting chemicals (endorphins) in the nervous system led to the first theories of how acupuncture might work in terms of a biomedical science model (Han, 1987). Moxibustion. Moxibustion using Artemisia vulgaris (a plant of the composite, or daisy, family) evolved in early times in northern China. In this cold,
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