What JLH Treats

In Chinese medicine, symptoms are not picked apart and considered individually — rather, each symptom is looked at in relation to all other presenting symptoms. The entire constitution is assessed in order to establish what is called a “pattern of disharmony”. The goal of any treatment is to bring the body into balance and restore harmony.

With this in mind, it is easy to see that TCM can be used to treat just about any condition. Sometimes this treatment will be used in conjunction with Western medicine, but most of the time it can be used on its own as a complete system of healing.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are used together as the primary modalities to establish balance and harmony in the body. Although TCM considers herbal medicine to be the principal mode of intervention, it is acupuncture that has been more widely researched in the West.

Acupuncture has been recognized by both the United Nations World Health Organization and the United States National Institutes of Health as an effective treatment for a wide variety of conditions.

The World Health Organization now recommends acupuncture for the treatment of at least 47 different illnesses including:

Respiratory Disorders such as the common cold, bronchitis, and bronchial asthma (mainly in children and adults when uncomplicated).

Ear, Nose & Throat Disorders such as acute sinusitis, acute rhinitis (runny nose), acute tonsillitis, toothache (including post-extraction pain), gingivitis, and pharyngitis.

Eye Disorders such as acute conjunctivitis, central retinitis, nearsightedness in children, and uncomplicated cataracts.

Gastrointestinal Disorders such as diarrhea, constipation, spasms of the throat and diaphragm, hiccups, gastritis, gastroptosis (abnormal lowering of the stomach), gastric hyperacidity, chronic duodenal ulcer (for pain relief), acute duodenal ulcer (without complications), acute and chronic colitis, acute bacillary dysentery, and paralytic ileus (blockage of the small bowel – often occurring after an abdominal operation).

Neurological and Muscular Disorders such as headaches, migraines, trigeminal neuralgia, facial palsy (when treatment begins with three to six months after onset), numbness and paralysis following a stroke, peripheral neuropathies (loss of feeling in the outer nerves), Meniere’s disease (ear problem which causes dizziness and vertigo), neurogenic bladder dysfunction, bed-wetting, intercostal neuralgia (pains in the ribs), neck pain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, sciatica, low back pain, and osteoarthritis.

The National Institute of Health has concluded that based on empirical evidence acupuncture is useful in treating a wide variety of conditions and that one ”… advantage of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for these same conditions.”

Such research showing acupuncture’s positive results has had a powerful effect on its acceptance in the west, but I stress again that TCM is a complete system of healing. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be safely used to treat any imbalance in the body, regardless of the western diagnosis. In addition to the conditions mentioned above, TCM is commonly used in the treatment of gynecological disorders such as painful periods, infertility, and menopause as well as insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

copyright © 2000 Antonia Balfour