Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete medical system that has been around for over 2,000 years. It combines acupuncture, acupressure, herbs and other modalities to treat numerous conditions and help keep the body functioning properly. TCM has grown in popularity over the last number of years and has become a viable alternative option for men who prefer to be treated with holistic forms of medicine.
Here are 5 key ways acupuncture and TCM can benefit men's health
1. Pain Relief
Pain, if left untreated, can effect more than just the physical body. It can have an effect on emotional and mental health as well. TCM aims to treat the root cause of the pain to facilitate long term healing. Two approaches commonly used to treat pain are acupuncture and acupressure. So how do they work?
With acupuncture fine needles are placed in specific acupuncture points which stimulate the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain, including endorphins, encephalin and other neurochemicals. These natural chemicals can either change the experience of pain or trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones that influence the body's internal regulating system. This can bring about a normalizing effect on the neuroendocrine (nerve and hormone) function. The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities, thus promoting physical as well as emotional well-being.
Acupressure relaxes muscle tissue, which can reduce painful contractions and spasms. It is excellent for men with chronic pain due to a build-up of scar tissue or those with stiff, painful areas in the neck, shoulders, and back. Applying pressure can also relax muscles, tendons and ligaments which can reduce nerve compression.
2. Digestive / Gastrointestinal Issues
Digestive and gastrointestinal issues can be a debilitating disorders with symptoms ranging from cramping to flatulence, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and nausea.
From a Chinese Medicine perspective these symptoms present as an imbalance between the liver and the
spleen. The spleen is responsible for taking food in, converting it to energy and supplying that energy to the organs of the body. The livers job is to keep energy flowing smoothly so that everything works effectively.
When the liver energy is not flowing smoothly, it has a knock on effect on the spleen, which disrupts the digestive system, thus causing the unpleasant symptoms listed above. Ciaran came to Care Cure Chinese medicine clinic in Galway having suffered from digestive issues for over 15 years. Before trying TCM he was given conventional over the counter medication but did not experience any relief from his symptoms. After six sessions of Acupuncture he had complete relief from all of his symptoms. One of the main benefits of TCM is that it treats the cause as opposed to the symptoms which makes it a more effective treatment for long term healing.
Stress is an unfortunate component of modern day life. It is recognised by the medical profession as a major underlying cause of a number of illnesses. This is because it greatly affects the normal functioning of internal systems. It can negatively effect your digestive and respiratory systems. It can impact your cardiovascular, hormonal and reproductive systems. Cortosil (a stress hormone) is elevated, blood pressure increases and immune function is impaired. These effects can dramatically throw your body out of balance.
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, stress interrupts the natural flow of qi (energy) in the body. In Chinese medicine, qi is the energy which flows along channels in the body called meridians. These energy channels are mapped throughout the body consisting of main channels that branch into secondary channels. In TCM stress interrupts the natural flow of this energy, causing an imbalance in the body. TCM treats the root cause of this imbalance by releasing trapped or blocked energy. Once the balance and flow of this energy is restored it facilitates the body's own natural system of self healing.
4. Sports Injury
Acupuncture and TCM practices are very effective at treating acute injuries such as strains, sprains, swollen muscles, shin splints, neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee and ankle pain. Used by professional teams around the world acupuncture & TCM are also very effective at building up any weaknesses in the body, accelerating recovery time and improving performance.
There are a number of ways TCM can help with sports injuries including reducing inflammation, accelerating the repair of injured body tissue, stimulating nerves to improve muscle stiffness and joint mobility and help with swelling by increasing local microcirculation. TCM is also used by professional athletes as a preventative method of treatment by creating greater flexibility, reducing the potential for aches and sprains.
Sleep is often considered a passive process, but is in fact an active, integral part of a healthy, balanced life. During sleep, your body produces growth hormones, which are important for burning fat and developing lean muscles. It is also the time when your body goes through a complicated regulation of immune system functions. Studies have shown that when people are sleep-deprived or have their sleep chronically restricted, their t-cell numbers go down and their inflammatory cytokines go up. This means you can become more prone to getting colds or the flu. Deep sleep is also important as muscles relax and blood vessels dilate, promoting better blood circulation.
TCM offers many advantages to men suffering from broken sleep patterns, sleep deprivation and insomnia because of its holistic approach to healing. It seeks out the root cause of why you are having difficulty sleeping which could be related to any number of reasons including stress, emotional imbalances,
blocked qi (energy) and imbalances in regulatory and internal systems. We often find that men who seek TCM treatment for other conditions often experience better and improved sleep. Getting enough good quality, undisturbed sleep can have major effect on the whole body, mentally, emotionally and physically.
TCM is a sophisticated system of medicine, natural, holistic and effective for numerous conditions. Well worth a try!
Care Cure are Ireland's leading TCM specialists. we offer a free consultation in all our clinics. We have clinics in Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, Galway, Longford and Sligo.