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The Three Brothers

I love this story as it exemplifies how we should view traditional Chinese medicine and the part it plays in the healthcare of oriental peoples for over 4,000 years.

There was a famous Chinese doctor, who lived some 4,000 years ago. He was celebrated for his skills and knowledge of medicine and his ability to heal even the most fatal disease. He cured the emperor’s son who was believed dead, in a miraculous exhibition of his skills. The emperor asked why he was so much better than is two brothers, who were also doctors.

He replied, my first brother heals sickness before it even develops, so his methods and skills appear unseen and he is known only within our village. His practice involves giving advice on food, exercise and lifestyle to keep his patients well. My second brother deals with illnesses while they are chronic or minor, preventing sickness from getting worse and returning the body to health. He cares for his patients through acupuncture and herbs to rebalance them back to good health when they become ill. I treat diseases when they threaten to destroy the person. This requires several medicines, skill and knowledge in their use. For this reason my name has become famous throughout the kingdom, yet I am simply a surgeon who is called upon when all else fails. My first brother has the knowledge to deal with illness before they arise and my second brother is able to treat them at an early stage and prevent them getting worse. Though my fame has spread throughout the land, their knowledge is greater.

The first two brothers is how traditional Chinese medicine works with preventative dietary and lifestyle advice, acupuncture and herbs. The third brother who was the surgeon is how modern western medicine works. Today we need to have all disciplines available to holistically treat the various health disharmonies in people’s lives. Keeping healthy is surely one of the most important elements of a happy life. Before a person becomes ill, we need to treat with appropriate diet, exercise and lifestyle. When a person becomes ill, we need to treat with acupuncture and herbs first and only when these methods are not enough, we should use western medicine which includes surgery and powerful drugs with their equally powerful and harmful side effects.



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


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Practical Chinese Medicine

Shop for this Book

This book is an introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine from the perspective of Tuina Chinese Medical Acupressure. It guides the student through the theories and cultural philosophies of this exceptional medical discipline. It is an excellent first year student textbook that is written in the same down to earth, easy to understand sentences that the ancient Chinese practitioners used to teach their students. It covers everything in the necessary foundation to begin your lifelong study of this outstanding medical discipline.

Buy this Book here.


James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


Please share! Help the word get out. Pin the graphic too.
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Acupuncture, What is it?

Acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of Qi (Energy) and Xue (Blood) through channels or meridians which run throughout the body very similar to the nervous and circulatory system. Acupuncture itself is the insertion of fine needles into the body at specific points that lay on these meridians. These points have been proven effective throughout time for specific problems or diseases. In acupuncture, there are no side effects. It is merely a tool to allow the body to heal itself.

Does it hurt?

Most people feel nothing, an Acupuncture needle cannot be compared to a syringe needle at all.  Syringe needles are quite large, are hollow (to pull liquids in and out of the body) and are administered into arteries.  Acupuncture needles are solid and as thin as one piece of hair.  In Acupuncture, we administer needles with caution, avoiding arteries and nerves.  Acupuncture is mostly painless, but since a stimulus needs to be obtained you will feel either a heaviness, distension, tingling or electric sensation around the needle or traveling up and down the meridian. Any kind of discomfort that is made from the stimulation of the needle disappears in seconds.

Are the needles clean?

Acupuncture needles are pre-sterilized, individually packaged and disposable. Thus assuring there is no transmission of communicable disease from patient to patient.

How does Acupuncture work?

How can such an “ancient” medicine be at the forefront of the “new” millennium? Simple, acupuncture is so incredible because it works on all levels. This means superficially, internally, physically and emotionally. Therefore it works for superficial muscular problems, internal issues, emotional conflict and also as preventive maintenance. How does it work? Basically, the needles stimulate the energy or Qi in the meridians or channels. When we have pain or inflammation this indicates there is stagnation in that area of the meridian. To achieve results, all that is needed is to move the stagnation or energy with acupuncture. Concerning internal problems, this means any imbalance in the body, these manifest as symptoms…PMS, constipation, fatigue, insomnia, depression etc. Each symptom correlates to an organ and each organ has its own meridian. Acupuncture can then stimulate the meridian connected to the organ that needs balance, therefore achieving alleviation of the symptom. The Chinese believe “if there is free flow than no imbalance or disease can occur”, therefore we can ensure a healthy future and function at our optimum with monthly maintenance treatments.

Do I have to believe in Acupuncture for it to work?

No. Acupuncture is used successfully on cats, dogs, horses and other animals. These patients do not understand or believe in this treatment, but that does not prevent them from getting better.

How many treatments do I need?

That depends upon the duration, severity and nature of each individual’s complaint. Generally five to fifteen treatments are adequate for the majority of illness. Acute conditions may require only a single treatment and some degenerative diseases may require a whole series of treatments.

Should I use Acupuncture with other types of health care?

Yes. Oriental Medicine can be used by itself or as a complement to other systems of health care. When used together with Western Medicine healing is enhanced.

Please tell us if you are under the care of other health practitioners or about any medications you are currently taking so that we may coordinate our efforts.

Please note: While Oriental Medicine can treat many conditions, there are situations in which Western Medicine is more appropriate. If this occurs, we will recommend contacting a Western Medical doctor.

What criteria should one use in choosing an acupuncturist?

Look for the abbreviations L.Ac., O.M.D., D.O.M or Dip. Ac. after the practitioners name. All of these abbreviations are similar in meaning. Chinese Medicine as a system is extremely complicated and extensive. It is not just a collection of techniques that can be added to some other health care profession. Only seek treatment from professionally trained and qualified practitioners of Chinese Medicine.

The First Treatment

After you arrive you will be asked to fill out a short health history. These questions are to help your practitioner evaluate your presenting patterns based upon your symptoms. This “pattern of disharmony” is in large measure what makes traditional Chinese/Asian Medicine so effective.

In a private room you will review the history one-on-one with the treating Practitioner. After further evaluation the Practitioner will explain the treatment strategy. Then your Practitioner will wash their hands and begin your treatment.

What do I need to do to prepare for an acupuncture treatment?

Prior to coming for your appointment, be sure to eat only a light meal or snack and drink a little water. Please also bring the names and doses of all medications and dietary or herbal supplements you are taking.

Here is an excellent example “story” to explain where acupuncture is both the modern and traditional Chinese medical system. The story of the Three Brothers.

James O’Sullivan L.Ac C.Ac (China)

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