The category of Asian Medicine, and one of its primary tools of Acupuncture, includes a broad range of traditional and contemporary medicines such as: Traditional Chinese Medicine; Ayurvedic Medicine; and Japanese, Korean, and Tibetan Medicine. These forms of medicine have long traditions and to this day remain the primary care modality for the majority of Asian peoples.
The history of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) extends back over 3,000 years, with documentation of accumulated knowledge and experience appearing before the Han Dynasty (206 BCE to 220 CE), thus providing a long record of traditional use. The philosophy of this ancient therapeutic system is based on the concept of qi (pronounced “chee”), meaning energy/life force, and its flow through the body along channels or meridians. This ancient medicine has its own nomenclature, physiology, pathology, and therapeutics, which create a complex system of medicine.
There are approximately 20,000 – 25,000 AOM licensees throughout the U.S. Treatments provided by AOM practitioners identify a pattern of disharmony within a patient and redress that disharmony in a variety of ways that may include any or all of the tools of Oriental Medicine. AOM seeks to achieve balance through strengthening of weak or deficient areas or through the application of opposite energetic forces (e.g., clear heat through administration of cooling herbal formulas or acupuncture points specifically noted for their ability to release heat from the body). AOM is used for chronic disease, prevention and wellness, and acute care. Practitioners may employ wide panoply of therapies such as acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, bodywork, dietary recommendations, herbal therapy, laser therapy, qi gong, and tai chi.