"To balance is to heal. To harmonize is to regulate. The needle and herb
can harmonize any sickness."
The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) goes back in history thousands of years, but the art of TCM as practiced today is recogonized as around 2000 years old from historical documents and archeological artifacts. The art and science of TCM is very wide and deep and to simplify, includes five main branches: Acupuncture/Moxibustion, Tai qi/ Qi gong exercise practices, Tuina (Chinese massage, manipulation, cupping, Gua sha), Chinese diet/nutrition and herbs (sometimes called Oriental Medicine).
Spending many years around students and friends in Hong Kong, many of the fundamental ideas behind TCM are witnessed just by being in the culture and observing how family, friends, parents, and professionals interact and seek to find balance in daily life. For example, the Chinese people think of food as medicine, they strive to find balance and harmony in life, morning time will find many people doing Tai qi and Qi gong in the park or outside of their apartment buildings. At night spending time with family and visiting with friends is seen as worth while engagement. Within the big picture of the country and the world, they aim to take a long term view of how events will unfold and do their best to remain optimistic and realistic in regards to changes in the landscape of time and place. The people, culture, music, industry, food, and geography all make up some of the fascinating aspects that make TCM so profound as a healing art and science.
TCM has spread from China throughout Asia to the entire world as Traditional Chinese medicine. It is practical, effective, cost effecient, with often low risks of side effects for clients. As a massage therapist (LMT) and a chiropractor (DC), I was delighted to see the origins of these practices under the umbrella of Traditional Chinese medicine. I was very impressed with Tuina (Chinese massage) as its repetiore of techniques was more than anything I have encountered in my massage practice of the last 35 years. The techniques were both straight forward and challenging to learn, requiring a good amount of time to gain proficiency and skill in their use while producing wonderful results even when first learning. For my manipulation practice, seeing Zheng gu Tuina/bone setting practiced in clinic and seeing how seemlessly all the different techniques from cupping, acupuncture, gua sha, moxibustion, herbs, tuina, etc., all interweaved and flowed together was very satisfying.
There is no country I have travelled to in the world where I have not found TCM practitioners helping many people with a wide range of maladies from the vast resevoir of therapeutic modalities that make up Traditional Chinese Medicine. The fullness of the different approaches is vast, from channel theory, Zang fu (organs), blood/qi, Shang Han Lun, five element, Wen Bing to micro systems of the head, ear, stomach to name a few. As time passed TCM travelled the world and was then incorporated in places like Japan, Korea, Europe, Russia, and America which have all added their own personalities to TCM.
I spent many years working along side Dr. Upledger at both the Upledger clinic and the Brain and Spinal Cord center watching him utilize acupunture in his work with great success. He loved Acupuncture and took an interest in this field about the same time he was exploring other modlities like cranial osteopathy to help his chronic pain patients in Florida. He always had an acupuncturist on staff for patients at UI and a few of the UI teachers were acupuncturists. John Upledger DO, always continued to learn acupuncture by reading and talking with those in the field. This was the inspiration for me years later to return to school and earn my Masters degree in TCM.
Board Certification and LicensureDr. Green is a board certified acupuncturist and has passed all three (3) Board exams (bioscience, points, and theory) for the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and received his Diplomate in Acupuncture.
Once one has attained Board Certification, then one can apply for State licensure. Many States require extensive criminal history background checks, as well as letters of good standing from any and all States in which you have ever held a professional license, child abuse classes, and the completion of a law test. This is combined with CEU/PDA requirements to maintain your license over time for each individual state. All these checks provide for confidence in the education and background of an individual who will be providing healthcare services in acupuncture for one's community.