About Traditional East Asian Medicine

About Traditional East Asian Medicine

Traditional Asian MedicineAcupuncture has been practiced for approximately 2,500 years and is only one component of Traditional East Asian Medicine (TEAM).  Other components of TEAM are also important to the support of an individual’s health and well being.  They include dietary counseling, moxibustion, breathing exercises and movement exercises (Tai Chi,  Qi Gong), cupping, gua sha, and herbal therapies.  There are many forms of acupuncture, just as there are many forms of martial arts.

Differences Between Japanese and Chinese Styles

The differences between Japanese and Chinese styles of therapy are several.  First, Japanese style evolved from blind practitioners.  Yes, you read that correctly: many of the Japanese practitioners in the Edo period (1603-1868) were blind.  This led to a strong emphasis on touch.  Japanese style today is largely palpation-based and uses immediate feedback and interaction between the practitioner and patient to determine the precise angle that will relieve pressure pain at various areas of the body.  Because of that tactile feedback, the needling does not need to be as deep, and many patients do not feel the needles at all.  The sites of some of the points are slightly different, as they have been determined to be more appropriate for this style of needling.  Finally, Japanese style practitioners use moxibustion more often than their Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) counterparts.  This herb is used to warm various points and can be used instead of, or in conjunction with, acupuncture needles.

Dr. Smith uses a combination of Japanese and Chinese styles in her practice, hence referring to her practice as “Traditional East Asian Medicine” rather than TCM alone.  In terms of her acupuncture style, she incorporates the use of Master Tung’s points, Richard Tan’s balance method, auricular acupuncture, Korean hand acupuncture, microsystems, scalp acupuncture, and other techniques, depending on the individualized needs of each patient.

Learn More

Use the drop down menus above or click the links below to learn more about specific aspects of Traditional East Asian Medicine:

Additionally, click here to read more about officially recognized conditions that are treatable by acupuncture.