The Eastern Approach to Acupuncture

September 20, 2021

As a Naturopathic Doctor I have many treatment “tools in my toolbox”.   While all these tools are important to me for many different reasons, the one I use most frequently is acupuncture.  The reason: Acupuncture can have an amazing effect on your health!  I see this everyday in my office, but don’t just take my word for it!  Research has shown that acupuncture is effective for conditions such as fibromyalgia, depression, as well as chronic pain.  It really is a simple, and effective therapy that can be used by most people.  Explaining acupuncture, however, can be a little more complex. Acupuncture is typically applied based on either a Western or Eastern approach, with each having their own strengths and specialty.  The benefit of being a Naturopathic Doctor is that I have training in both these approaches, and often employ them together.  Today I’d like to look a little deeper into what I mean by an Eastern approach to acupuncture. 

So what is the Eastern approach to acupuncture?

Acupuncture is derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  TCM views disease as a problem with the flow of Qi, which is the body’s circulating energy.  This energy flows along channels, known as meridians.  There are as many as 20 meridians with more than 2,000 acupuncture points found along them.  Applying tiny needles to acupuncture points is believed to balance Qi along these meridians, restoring health.

An Eastern medical diagnosis is also an important part of the Eastern approach to acupuncture.  While some of the names of these diagnoses may seem at odds with Western Medicine (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, ect.), they do offer important insight into the health of the body.  TCM diagnoses such as Spleen Qi Deficiency, Stomach Fire, and Deficient Kidney Yang are really just another way of looking at patterns of disease and wellness.

To better understand the difference between Eastern and Western acupuncture please see my post on a Western perspective to Acupuncture.  I don’t believe that one philosophy, Western or Eastern, is better than the other.  Rather, applying both philosophies in medical practice helps me understand the individual nature of my client’s concerns.  These philosophies can be compatible and cooperative in nature!  It is always good to be able to see things from many perspectives, especially when it comes to medicine.

For more information on acupuncture, or to find out how Naturopathic Medicine may be able to help with your health concerns, please contact Dr. Linda Shih, ND, at Spine Stretch Studio. 

Spine Stretch Studio has implemented new COVID-19 precautions which may affect your appointment.  For more information please have a look at our updated health policies.

I look forward to helping you on the road to wellness!

Linda Shih, ND

Author: Linda Shih

Dr. Linda Shih, ND is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor who is passionate about preventative and personalized health care, always striving to understand the root cause of her client’s conditions and concerns. She hold an Honors Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Toronto, a Diploma of Naturopathic Medicine from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Toronto, and is a member of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.
Naturopathic Doctors are considered primary care physicians, and while Dr. Linda Shih maintains a wide scope of practice in her family clinic, she has a special interest in pain management, infertility, as well as digestive concerns.
Using a variety of different modalities, including acupuncture, botanical medicine, and nutritional counseling, Dr. Shih, ND, always aims to help her clients achieve their best health, both now and for the future.
Linda Shih Linda Shih
September 20, 2021 September 20, 2021

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