When I tell people that I meet that I am an acupuncturist, the question of what can Chinese medicine and acupuncture treat inevitably comes up, usually followed by a question about pain. While it is very true that Chinese medicine is great for treating almost any kind of pain, Chinese medicine and acupuncture have so much more to offer to the world and the health of its inhabitants.
Often times, patients will come in for treatment for aches and pains and during the interview and intake process, the will mention other things like stress, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, poor digestion or other things. Sometimes these things can be related to the pain the person is experiencing and they will see a reduction in those symptoms as well as the treatment progresses. Other times, they notice that those symptoms are better as the treatment moves along even as slower progress may be made with their original complaint. The reason for this is that Chinese medicine looks for global body patterns of health and illness in the body and then tailors the treatment to encompass the whole person. Each person can present with different reason for the same symptom, and Chinese medicine can adjust for this and treat that person with a set of treatments that is unique to them. As treatment progress and the person changes, the treatments will change as well, keeping in mind the current pattern of health and illness the person is experiencing and their individual constitution and situation.
So, what can Chinese medicine treat? Well the beauty of the diagnostic system that Chinese medicine is based on is that almost everything can fit into a pattern of disease based on its presentation. Once a differential diagnosis is reached acupuncture points, herbs and other techniques can be utilized to deal with the problem, often with excellent results.
On the more objective side of things, Chinese Medicine can effectively treat digestive disorders including symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, belching, heartburn and other things. It can also treat urinary problems such as painful urination, dribbling urination, excessive or frequent urination, leaking and incontinence, bed-wetting. Poor appetite, excessive appetite, lack of thirst, or excessive thirst can all be addressed as well. Other things include insomnia, nightmares, hyper-somnia and fatigue. Chinese Medicine can also be effective for eye problems, ear problems, and nose, mouth or throat problems too. Colds and flus, asthma, and other respiratory disorders can be treated effectively as well. Skin disorders like dryness, eczema, acne, boils, and diabetic lesions and bed sores can also be treated with Chinese medicine. Other things like menopause, low sex drive, impotence, menstrual irregularity or painful periods and infertility can also be helped with Chinese medicine. Headaches and migraines can be helped as well. Oh, and Pain, whether acute pain for trauma and injury or chronic pain from an old injury or arthritis. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it can help to show the range of Chinese medicine and what it can treat. Because there is such a long successful history of usage and treatment records, there is a great repository of knowledge that can be tapped to help a practitioner find solutions for a patients problems.