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Why Chinese Medicine Is Heading for Clinics Around the World

Thanks to a move by the World Health Organization (WHO), you soon may see references to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in your area, as health professionals search for nonpharmaceutical methods of health care prevention and treatment. Known as the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), for the first time this global compendium of treatment options will include details about TCM, Nature reports.

If you’re wondering what all this means, Nature explains that the ICD’s global reach is “unparalleled” in how it influences physicians as they make diagnoses and treatment plans. It also affects how insurance companies determine coverage, how epidemiologists ground their research and how health officials interpret mortality statistics.

The use of TCM focuses on your body as an energy system in which your body's energy moves along meridians. If you’re familiar with acupuncture, you know that this is the foundation of how acupuncture works. The premise is that cells are always communicating with each other via chemical signals that require a spark of energy to move throughout your body. When properly energized, your cells support your every movement, thought and bodily function.

Even though you can’t see it, an invisible web of energy connects each part of your body in an orderly way to promote proper function and growth and, when necessary, healing and restoration. To better understand how this works, Western researchers hypothesize that the placement of acupuncture needles stimulates nerves and triggers your body's own natural painkillers.

In so doing, it also reduces pro-inflammatory markers to reduce pain and swelling in your body. It may also stimulate your hypothalamus and pituitary gland to produce extra hormones that release natural chemicals that alter your bodily systems, pain and other biological processes.

The bottom line is, rather than ignore the signs and symptoms your body uses to alert you to underlying issues, TCM and acupuncture looks at every little ache, pain, sign and symptom as a means of not only listening to your body, but also as a means of improving energy flow and clearing up any energy blockages.

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