Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in Bellingham is often referred to as Oriental medicine or just plain Chinese medicine. This type of therapy incorporates a wide range of folk medical practices grounded on mysticism. TCM is based on the idea that the Qi or vital energy of the body flows all throughout the body via channels or pathways known as meridians. These meridians have branches that are related to bodily function and connected to bodily organs. Illness is the result of an imbalance or a disruption of Qi. Helping to restore the balance of Qi are ancient remedies such as acupuncture, herbs, and Qigong among many others.
Practiced in China for over 3,000 years, traditional acupuncture is one of the most important tools of traditional Chinese medicine. This treatment involves the sticking of hair thin needles made of stainless steel into several regions of the body, which are sometimes attached to wires that conduct mild electrical impulses to generate more powerful stimulations. Often used in combination with acupuncture or separately are other Chinese practices such as acupressure (a treatment using manual pressure), auriculotherapy (external ear acupuncture), laserpuncture (application of laser beams), homeopathy, vitamins, morphine, procaine, sterile water injection, and moxibustion (burning of moxa herb on the skin). In an acupuncture procedure, the needles are inserted into so-called acupuncture points. These points are scattered throughout the body and are believed to number over 2,000.
In both developing and developing countries the acupuncture way of treatment has gained popularity and has been widely accepted as an alternative type of therapy. In the United States, acupuncture has gained immense popularity for over four decades. The ACS (American Cancer Society) established for cancer treatment and symptoms related to cancer therapy has endorsed acupuncture’s use for cancer patients for the treatment of limb edema, vasomotor symptoms, breathlessness, nausea, and pain related to cancer and cancer treatment side effects such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.