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How Acupuncture and TCM Herbs Enhance Each Other, Do You Know?

For centuries traditional Chinese medicine has been used to treat, heal, and promote well-being. TCM is a very multi-faceted medical system with many modalities aimed at helping the patient obtain optimal health by restoring balance to the body’s interconnected energy system. Different TCM methods, such as acupuncture and herbs, are combined to enhance each other in order to heal ailments, balance the body, and strengthen the immune system rather than relying on just one modality or method to ensure a patient gets optimal well-rounded care.

With the growing popularity and availability of TCM herbs, many patients are beginning to access more than one treatment type concurrently. Due to acupuncture’s relatively long history in the west and the rise ot TCM herbal use, these two modalities are most often combined to synergistic effect. Even though these two methods are just a piece of the much larger TCM health system, when used together to enhance each other they can provide maximum overall health effects and benefits for patients.

Understanding What Acupuncture and Herbs Are
Before we discuss how acupuncture and herbs work together to enhance each other and their benefits, it’s important to understand what each modality is and how they work.

Acupuncture is the practice of inserting thin needles into specific points of the body called meridian points. The primary goal and theory of acupuncture is that inserting these needles into specific points will encourage the natural state of balance and flow of qi, clearing obstructions and restoring health and well-being.

Chinese herbal medicine has been used for thousands of years to treat a large array of conditions. Herbs can be taken as a single herb or as an herbal formula created by a TCM practitioner. Each individual herb has its own characteristics and properties and when combined with other herbs, or taken alone, they can have a beneficial, therapeutic effect that helps restore balance in the body.

Combining the Use of Acupuncture and Herbs
TCM practitioners often use acupuncture and herbs together to promote natural healing and therapeutic effects for their patients’ bodies, minds, and spirits. While each modality is different, they work together to serve a common goal; restore and maintain optimal, overall health.

Acupuncture treatments work to keep qi flowing smoothly and in balance throughout the body while herbs deliver a more potent, targeted treatment for specific organs, systems, ailments, and concerns. When combined, TCM practitioners can help their patients get more effective results because the goal of TCM is to treat the whole person, not just the present symptoms the person is experiencing. By using multiple TCM methods together, like acupuncture and herbs, practitioners can help correct imbalances causing the ailments, allowing practitioners to treat the whole body, not just one specific area or issue at a time.

Many studies have been published on how combining acupuncture and herbs together has helped treat specific ailments such as Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, obesity-related chronic inflammation, and depression just to name a few.

The Bottom Line: Enhancing Health with Acupuncture and Herbs
The best way to see safe and effective benefits from combining acupuncture and herbs is to consult with a licensed TCM practitioner in both acupuncture and herbal medicine. A qualified herbalist and acupuncturist can recommend a personalized treatment plan and regimen to complement both modalities for your specific needs.

***NOTE: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This article is not intended to suggest specific treatments for patients or that any supplements mentioned prevent or cure diseases or problems. Before taking any herbs, all patients should discuss their options with a licensed practitioner, including any other medications the patient is currently taking, as there may be contraindications between pharmaceuticals and herbs.
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