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Oriental Medicine Practitioners

History

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has over 3,000 years of clinical history. The basic principles of TCM were first recorded in the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (Huang Di Nei Ching) in China approximately 2,300 years ago. TCM practitioners continually applied, developed, and refined those principles for centuries.

Oriental medicine is based on an energetic model of health that is fundamentally different from the biochemical model of Western medicine. The ancient Chinese recognized a vital energy that they believed to be the animating force behind all life. They called this life force qi (pronounced chee). They discovered that the body's qi flows along specific channels—called meridians—in the body. Each meridian is related to a particular physiological system and internal organ. When the body's qi is unbalanced, or when the flow of qi along the channels is blocked or disrupted, disease, pain, and other physical and emotional conditions result. The fundamental purpose of all forms of Oriental medicine is to restore and maintain balance in the body's qi.

As traditional Chinese medicine spread gradually throughout Southeast Asia, each culture adapted the principles of TCM to its own healing methods. The Japanese, Koreans, and other Asian peoples contributed to the development of the ancient Chinese principles and developed their own variations. In recognition of the contributions of many Asian cultures, TCM is now referred to as traditional Oriental medicine (TOM), or simply Oriental medicine (OM).

Since the advent of quantum physics, the Western world has developed a new interest in and appreciation for the bioenergetic model of health of the Oriental world. Western physics is generating a new science of resonance and energy fields that proposes that a person is more a "resonating field" than a substance. Oriental medicine is completely consistent with this concept.

Oriental medicine practitioners are increasingly consulted in Europe, North America, and Russia for general maintenance of health, treatment of disease, and relief of pain. Since the 1970s, acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been among the fastest growing forms of health care in the United States. During the last decade of the 20th century, the increasing interest in alternative medicine in the United States and throughout the world brought Oriental medicine practitioners to the forefront of the field of alternative health care.

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