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By Dr. Anjali Sharma

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Modern medicine perspective of disease management
Acupuncture and TCM perspective of disease management
Advantage of Acupuncture Disease Management
Diseases treated by Acupuncture


Modern medicine perspective of disease management
You call it disease, sickness, illness or ailment or you call it by name like arthritis, asthma, diabetes, hypothyroidism, hypertension, depression, irritable bowel disease, allergy etc. The core fact of all these is the DISORDER in the body functions with or without damage to body tissues. Every disease has some basic facts :

  1. Cause of disease
  2. Onset of disease
  3. Progression of disease
  4. Effects of disease
  5. Outcome of disease

According to modern medicine, a diseased state is managed as follows

  • Complete history of sickness including its onset and progress
  • Clinical examination
  • Investigation
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment medical and/or surgical
  • Lifestyle correction
But despite great advances, modern medicine at times struggle as there is insufficient relief from suffering. Around the world people are looking towards additional and alternate methods of treatment. In the process various traditional healing methods have been put under scientific studies and research. Many of them have proved effective. Of these acupuncture stands tall. In its long journey since 2500 BC, acupuncture has established itself as one of the most promising & result oriented treatment method of various diseases. Research has proved it as effective therapy. It has been accepted by World Health Organization WHO & other prominent international health organizations as a significant & useful treatment method.

Acupuncture and TCM perspective of disease management
Practitioners of acupuncture therapy give due consideration to clinical diagnosis based on modern medicine but in addition their main diagnosis of disease / disorder is based on traditional Chinese medicine’s principles of health and sickness :

Health
According to TCM, health is a state of equilibrium within the body and with the environment. Within the body this equilibrium is the dynamic balance between different forms of Qi (vital energy) as well as dynamic balance between five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) which makes the human body and helps it in functioning well. The wholeness of this equilibrium is represented as mutual and dynamic interplay of Yin and Yang. So, the three factors responsible for the state of health are:

  1. Qi – The vital energy which keeps us alive. It is congenital inherited from parents and acquired from food & environment. It flows in body in fourteen channels called meridians. Its free flow is must for good health.
  2. Five elements – Wood, fire, earth, metal and water are the five elements which constitutes our body and which are in constant state of transformation. Their relative balance is must for good health.
  3. Yin and Yang – The structural and functional wholeness of human body is composed is composed of two factors called Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang are mutually interdependent, support as well as oppose & consume each other and can be transformed into each other. Yin and Yang must remain in balance for good health.

Disease
According to TCM, disease is a state of disequilibrium in the energy system. It can be of three types:

  1. Disorder of Qi (vital energy) balance
  2. Disorder of five elements balance
  3. Disorder of Yin and Yang balance

Cause of disease
There are various factors which can cause these disorders. These can be exogenous factors, endogenous factors or miscellaneous factors.
A.Exogenous (external) factors

  1. Pathogenic (disease causing) wind
  2. Pathogenic (disease causing) cold
  3. Pathogenic (disease causing) heat
  4. Pathogenic (disease causing) dampness
  5. Pathogenic (disease causing) fire
  6. Pathogenic (disease causing) dryness
  7. Pathogenic (disease causing) noxious agents

B.Endogenous (internal) factors
  1. Disorder of preexisting internal wind, heat, dampness, dryness, fire and cold.
  2. Excessive pathogenic (disease causing) emotions like anger, worry, grief, sadness, joy, fear, fright.

C.Miscellaneous factors
  1. Improper diet
  2. Overstrain & stress
  3. Lack of exercise
  4. Excessive sexual activity
  5. Lack or excess of sleep
  6. Injury or poisoning

One or combination of these factors leads to various pathogenic (diseased) state. These are broadly divided into eight syndromes according to TCM.
  1. Exterior syndrome
  2. Interior syndrome
  3. Heat syndrome
  4. Cold syndrome
  5. Deficiency syndrome
  6. Excess syndrome
  7. Yin syndrome
  8. Yang syndrome


These syndromes are manifested as disorders of various body organ systems. These are diagnosed by :

  • History of disease / disorder to find cause and onset -
  • Clinical examination to find type of syndrome and disbalance

Treatment:
According to TCM, the focus of treatment is to reestablish the equilibrium in

  • Qi (energy system)
  • Five elements
  • Yin and Yang
Various techniques used in TCM to achieve this equilibrium are Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Cupping. The treatment is applied at certain specific points called acupoints which results in achieving balance.

Advantage of Acupuncture Disease Management
There are many advantages of acupuncture treatment which makes it one of the most popular and widely accepted treatment method around the world. Some of them are:

  • It is a drugless therapy. There are no side effects or chances of toxicity.
  • It is non invasive.
  • It has been found useful in many surgical cases and avoids surgery.
  • It improves body organs and functions like digestion, sleep, mental activity etc.
  • It balances body systems like hormonal system, nervous system, heart & blood circulation.
  • It relieves pain and suffering immediately in most cases. It is getting accepted as best treatment option in pain management. - It improves internal body environment and energy system.
  • It detoxifies body by improving elimination of wastes and toxins.
  • It improves immunity and body resistance against environmental hazards and sickness.

What diseases are treated by Acupuncture
World Health Organization WHO has accepted effectiveness of acupuncture in various diseases & disorders.  Some of the conditions which acupuncture treats are as follows.

Neurological Complaints
Paralysis, Neuralgia, Migraine & other Headaches, Epilepsy, Coma, Parkinson’s Disease.

Musculoskeletal Complaints
Cervical Spondylosis,  Backache,   Disc Prolapse, Frozen Shoulder, Sciatica, Arthritis, Rheumatism, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Osteophytes.

Respiratory Complaints
  Cough & Cold, Asthma,   Bronchitis, Sarcoidosis, Emphysema, Pleurisy.

Gastrointestinal Complaints
Gastritis, Acidity, Flatulence,
Constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Indigestion, Piles, Ulcerative Colitis, Anorexia.

Gynecological Complaints
Dysmenorrhea, Irregular Menses, Menopausal syndrome, Fibroids, Leucorrhoea, PMS.

Obstetric Complaints
Infertility, Habitual Abortion, Nausea & other pregnancy related ailments, Prolapse.

Cardiovascular Complaints
Angina, Hypertension,  Cardiomyopathy, Vasculitis, Thrombosis, Varicose Veins.

Kidney & Urinary Complaints
Stones, Enlarged Prostate, Cystitis, Involuntary Urination, Renal Failure, Nephritis.

Skin & Hair Complaints
Eczema, Psoriasis, Lichen Planus, Alopecia (Baldness), Urticaria,  Dermatitis.

Sexual Complaints
Impotence, Vaginismus, Premature Ejaculation, Painful Coition.

Eye & ENT  Complaints
Glaucoma, Optic atrophy, Retinitis Pigmentosa, Sinusitis, Adenoids, Meniere’s Disease, Tinnitus, Vertigo, Hearing loss, Polyps, Vocal Cord Nodules, Voice loss, Tonsillitis,

Endocrine Complaints
Hypothyroidism, Poor Growth,  Hyperthyroidism, Diabetes Mellitus, Sex & other hormonal Complaints.

 Psychological Complaints
Addictions, Autism, OCD, Insomnia, Mania, Depression, Anxiety, Behavior disorders, Schizophrenia, ADHD.

Other Complaints
Allergies, Auto Immune disorders, Chronic Poisoning & Toxicity, Injuries, Sports Injuries, Gym Trauma, Obesity.

Preventive Acupuncture
Family history of diseases like Diabetes Mellitus, Asthma, Hypertension, Psychiatric disorders, Autoimmune disorders etc.

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