Chinese Traditional Medicine

Chinese Traditional Medicine

Use of Chinese traditional medicine is useful when combined with conventional therapies to treat addiction, headaches, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma; and to assist in stroke rehabilitation.

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    Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been studied for diarrhea predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) but herbal formulations used in available studies have not led to global symptom improvement. Further studies may be necessary to characterize the role of TCM in the management of IBS.

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    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

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    Energy psychology therapy appears to be safe and may be used in combination with more traditional methods of therapy under the care of a qualified healthcare provider. Energy psychology has limited scientific evidence supporting it, however, and should not be used in place of more scientifically proven therapies.

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    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

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    Energy psychology is based on applied kinesiology, which was developed in the early 1960s by George J. Goodheart, Jr. Applied kinesiology is a chiropractic diagnostic method that uses manual muscle-strength testing for medical diagnosis, in order to give feedback on the body's functional status.

    The theory behind energy psychology is that emotional conflicts and trauma from early childhood remain in the unconscious mind throughout adulthood. These emotional issues may go back as far as intra-uterine and birth traumas; they may also include traumatic events that occurred during infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Emotional experiences are thought to cause imbalanced qi; imbalanced qi may lead to vasoconstriction, chronic biochemical and electromagnetic changes, alterations of the immune system, and illness.

    Roger Callahan believes that thoughts or experiences associated with an emotional problem are contained within a "thought field." Proponents of energy psychology claim that these emotional problems may lead to physical illnesses if untreated. A thought field becomes activated whenever a person thinks about his or her problem. Associated negative emotions correspond to meridian points on the body (Callahan calls this an isomorphism). In order to eliminate the patient's emotional upset, a precise sequence of meridian points must be tapped. Callahan theorizes that the process of tapping unblocks or balances the flow of qi.

    High heart rate variability may be used as an indicator of stress or illness. Callahan has published data from studies suggesting that energy psychology is able to lower heart rate variability. However, many scientists argue that Callahan did not properly perform his studies. The American Psychological Association (APA) has stated that energy psychology "lacks a scientific basis." In a survey published in an APA journal, psychologists generally consider energy psychology to be pseudoscience, indicating that it is based on false scientific claims.

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    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

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    Energy psychology may be self-administered or performed by a healthcare provider; it is recommended, however, that the therapy is offered by someone specifically trained in energy psychology procedures. Many books are available on the theory and practice of this technique.

    Diagnosis is performed by a trained practitioner who asks questions of his or her patient that are intended to trigger painful memories. These memories create a muscle response, which helps to determine exactly where the patient's internal problems lie. Some practitioners also use mental field therapy (MFT), which theoretically leads to a rapid resolution of emotional distress.

    Once a diagnosis has been made, practitioners then attempt to alter the patient's energy flow; energy flow changes may help to disconnect the patient's conditioned illness response from his or her traumatic history. Similar to acupuncture and acupressure, this technique works by tapping the patient's acupoints (points used in acupuncture) along the body's meridians (channels of energy through which qi flows), or at energy chakras (points in the body from which qi radiates). Practitioners tap these energy meridian treatment points while their patients focus on the symptoms or problems being targeted. The tapping action is believed to unblock or balance the flow of qi.

    Roger Callahan asserts that his most advanced level of energy psychology, Voice Technology (VT), may be performed over the phone. The fee listed on Callahan's Web site for a practitioner to learn the secrets of this technology is $100,000. However, supportive evidence from properly-performed scientific studies of this method's effectiveness is lacking.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

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    Qi gong is generally considered safe in most people when learned from a qualified instructor and practiced in moderation. In cases of potentially serious conditions, Qi gong should not be used in place of more proven therapies, and use of Qi gong should not cause delay in seeing an appropriate healthcare provider.

    Qi gong may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.

    Qi gong may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.

    Qi gong may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients taking drugs, herbs or supplements that lower blood pressure.

    Use cautiously in patients with pre-existing psychoses or in vulnerable individuals without a psychiatric history.

    Use cautiously in immune-compromised individuals as Qi gong has been shown to have immune effects.

    Use cautiously in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to limited safety evidence.

    Allergic skin reaction has been reported.

    Abnormal psychosomatic responses or mental disorder may be induced.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

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    High blood pressure

    Good evidence suggests that Qi gong, when used with conventional treatments, may be of benefit for high blood pressure. Initial research reports fewer deaths among people with high blood pressure who practice Qi gong. There is some evidence that internal Qi gong relaxation exercises may be safe for helping to control high blood pressure associated with pregnancy. Further research is warranted.

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    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

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    Preliminary study shows that Qi gong may be beneficial for relieving stress. Additional study is warranted in this area.

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    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

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    Qi gong may be beneficial for improving quality of life in cardiac and cancer patients. Further study is necessary to make a firm conclusion.

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    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

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    Regular Qi gong therapy may help to reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.

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    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.

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    There is promising early evidence suggesting that internal Qi gong may help in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. However, the evidence is unclear and further research is needed.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

    Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.