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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Dr. Oblack has taken the Post-graduate courses as required by the Chiropractic board of examiners of the state of Missouri and can practice meridian therapy/acupressure/acupuncture in Missouri. Acupuncturists are governed by another licensing board and have different educational requirements than chiropractors. Dr. Oblack is not a licensed Acupuncturist does not claim to be and it should not be implied that he is a licensed acupuncturist. He practices acupuncture with the additional license under his chiropractic license with required continuing education hours and training each time his chiropractic license is renewed.

Acupuncture treatments are done from several different viewpoints. We in some case treat according to established patterns and formulas of needle placement according to symptoms and pain patterns. These are published and available in several different books and the patterns will be documented in treatment notes.

In other cases specific points will be chosen directly for removal of external pathogens or blockages of Qi flow. Different points can be used to tonify or sedate different meridians or direct energy from one meridian to another.

Specific points may be used in combination with patterns or formula for both symptomatic relief as well as correction of the underlying condition.

The results of the AcuGraph BIM testing may also be used to determine needle placement.

Trial treatments in acupuncture are three treatments a week for 2 weeks to begin to see some improvement in symptoms. Treatment points may vary as the patient improves.

Herbal formulas are more critical in selection and usage. Many different herbal formulas are available for treating different conditions. Selecting the most effective formula or collection of formulas for the patient may take some fine-tuning in dosage and form. If the right formulas and dosages are chosen the patient should show improvement within two weeks. Lack of improvement in that period may require change in dose or formula. If the patient shows an exacerbation of symptoms or acute onset of other symptoms it indicates the practitioner has selected a wrong formula, either two strong or not for the primary cause, for the condition. The patient should immediately stop taking the formula and contact the physician for correction of the formula.

If the patient experiences sudden onset of cold or flu symptoms they should stop taking any herbal formulas with the exceptions of herbs to clear these acute external pathogens. The taking of some herbal formulas can prolong cold and flu symptoms driving the conditions deeper into the system. The doctor will have herbs available for these symptoms and when they have resolved the patient should continue with the prescribed herbs for the conditions they sought treatment for.

Trial treatments for herbal remedies are two weeks to see improvement for specific selections of formulas with up to three two-week trials to refine herb selection and dosages.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis in TCM takes a different view than western medicine. First a harmonious body, unless totally overwhelmed by some exterior pathogen, will heal itself and defend itself from the normal pathogens found in our world. However, if there is an imbalance in the life of the patient from lifestyle, personality or diet, this will cause disharmony in the form of excess, deficiency or stagnation.

These disharmonies can either create imbalances in specific organ systems determined by the cause of the disharmony, or it can weaken the body’s defenses allowing it to be affected by external pathogens. In TCM these are the five climates – wind, cold, heat, dampness and dryness in different degrees or combinations of the five.

When the body is affected by the five climates there are six channels by which they enter the body. The conditions caused and the organs affected can be related to which path they traveled.

Each of the organ systems have different functions that are part of the cycle of your body and are susceptible to different pathogens, disharmonies, emotions and diets.

Because each organ system is part of a cycle then a lack of harmony in one can affect other systems making diagnoses complex and symptoms confusing.

So the TCM practitioner in his diagnosis must determine:

  • What is the original disharmony that weakened the body?
  • If this weakness permitted any external pathogens to enter and what they were.
  • If external pathogens were involved what channel they involved and if the pathogen was transformed.
  • What organ systems are involved and if they are involved from the original weakness, from an external pathogen, or from altered function of another organ system.

Therefore, diagnoses in TCM are syndromes that can be broken into different categories based in different methods including the eight principles exterior/interior, cold/heat, deficiency/excess, and Yin/Yang. Syndromes may also be broken down by the organs they effect or the state and condition of Qi, blood and nourishment flowing through the body. The effect and location of damp heat in the three parts of the triple burner is another way of diagnosing.

Some TCM diagnoses are liver Qi stagnation, damp heat in the spleen; kidney yang deficiency, wind and cold in the Yangming channel, etc. Regardless of the symptoms of the patient, the goal of the practitioner is usually to correct these TCM conditions.

Evaluation

Observation, listening, smelling, interrogation and palpation make evaluation in TCM. Advances in electronics permits measurement of resistance in meridians and may direct treatment for meridians by quantitative measurements although this show results of disharmony but may not demonstrate the cause.

In our office in order to document improvement we can use Electro Meridian Imaging to measure and graph the resistance in the meridians. But, we use the traditional methods to determine cause and direct treatment.

For evaluation purposes, observation is made of the patients tongue, complexion, and nails. During the evaluation we will be aware of the tone of the patient’s voice and inflection, we will also notice and question the patient about body odors and aromas. For the purposes of speed and accuracy we use the TCM Evaluation Form found in the appendix of this manual to direct the interview.

The information acquired in the evaluation will produce a TCM diagnosis. If the patient is seeking TCM as a complimentary treatment for an existing western diagnosed condition, we will accept that diagnosis for insurance purposes for the patient.

Additional evaluation can be done using Bioelectrical Impedance Measurements (BIM). In our office we use the AcuGraph II Digital Meridian Imaging hardware and software. This equipment measures the galvanic skin response at specific acupuncture points, analyzes, and plots the results on a graph indicating levels and balances in the twelve bilateral meridians.

Treatment

Treatment in TCM is done in three ways; joint manipulation as is done in chiropractic, stimulation of points as in acupuncture, and herbs to affect change in the body.

The goals of treatment are to relieve the diagnosed condition. Any joint manipulation in our practice is done according to SOT Chiropractic protocol.

If this treatment interests you, call Natural Health and Healing Center today to set up an appointment to find out if we can help you.