Traditional Chinese Medicine_ In Depth _ NCCIH sunbelt business brokers lafayette la

When thinking about ancient medical systems such as TCM, it is important to separate questions about traditional theories and concepts of health and wellness from questions about whether specific interventions might be helpful in the context of modern science-based medicine and health promotion practices.

Concepts such as these are of interest in understanding the history of TCM. However, NCCIH-supported research on TCM does not focus on these ideas. Instead, it examines specific TCM practices from a scientific perspective, looking at their effects in the body and whether the practices are helpful in symptom management.

TCM practitioners use a variety of techniques in an effort to promote health and treat disease. In the united states, the most commonly used approaches include chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, and tai chi.Sunbelt business brokers lafayette la

• chinese herbal medicine. The chinese materia medica (a pharmacological reference book used by TCM practitioners) describes thousands of medicinal substances—primarily plants, but also some minerals and animal products. Different parts of plants, such as the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds, are used. In TCM, herbs are often combined in formulas and given as teas, capsules, liquid extracts, granules, or powders.

• acupuncture. Acupuncture is a family of procedures involving the stimulation of specific points on the body using a variety of techniques. The acupuncture technique that has been most often studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metal needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation.

In spite of the widespread use of TCM in china and its use in the west, rigorous scientific evidence of its effectiveness is limited.Sunbelt business brokers lafayette la TCM can be difficult for researchers to study because its treatments are often complex and are based on ideas very different from those of modern western medicine.

Most research studies on TCM have focused on specific techniques, primarily acupuncture and chinese herbal remedies, and there have been many systematic reviews of studies of TCM approaches for various conditions.

• an assessment of the research found that 41 of 70 systematic reviews of the scientific evidence (including 19 of 26 reviews on acupuncture for a variety of conditions and 22 of 42 reviews on chinese herbal medicine) were unable to reach conclusions about whether the technique worked for the condition under investigation because there was not enough good-quality evidence. The other 29 systematic reviews (including 7 of 26 reviews on acupuncture and 20 of 42 reviews on chinese herbal medicine) suggested possible benefits but could not reach definite conclusions because of the small quantity or poor quality of the studies.Sunbelt business brokers lafayette la

• in a 2012 analysis that combined data on individual participants in 29 studies of acupuncture for pain, patients who received acupuncture for back or neck pain, osteoarthritis, or chronic headache had better pain relief than those who did not receive acupuncture. However, in the same analysis, when actual acupuncture was compared with simulated acupuncture (a sham procedure that resembles acupuncture but in which the needles do not penetrate the skin or penetrate it only slightly), the difference in pain relief between the two treatments was much smaller—so small that it may not have been meaningful to patients.

• tai chi has not been investigated as extensively as acupuncture or chinese herbal medicine, but recent studies, including some supported by NCCIH, suggest that practicing tai chi may help to improve balance and stability in people with parkinson’s disease; reduce pain from knee osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia; and promote quality of life and mood in people with heart failure.Sunbelt business brokers lafayette la

• ask about the training and experience of the TCM practitioner you are considering. You can find information about the credentials and licensing of complementary health practitioners on the NCCIH web site.