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Debunking East Asian Medicine Myths

More than 88% of countries throughout the world rely on traditional medicine, but in the Western world, many negative myths still abound. Learn the top four myths and the benefits you can gain from holistic East Asian medicine.

Modern science continues to reveal how East Asian medicine effectively heals a vast range of diseases. Despite the field’s proven success, many myths still abound that stop people from considering East Asian medicine. As a result, they miss the many ways these natural therapies can improve their health and well-being. 

The skilled team at Docere Integrated Medicine specializes in naturopathic medicine, offering health care that’s uniquely individualized by drawing from East Asian, conventional, and complementary medicine. Here, they explore the top four myths associated with East Asian medicine. 

Myth 1: East Asian medicine relies only on acupuncture

Many people believe that East Asian practitioners rely solely on acupuncture as their primary (or only) treatment. Acupuncture is an important and essential therapy, but it’s not the only one we use. 

As specialists in East Asian medicine, we care for the whole person using one or more of the following treatments:

  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal medicine
  • Nutrient therapy
  • Therapeutic massage (Tunia)
  • Tai chi, qigong, and other mind-body-spirit practices

Before recommending a TCM-based treatment, we complete a thorough health evaluation. Our goal is to identify and treat every aspect of your life — body, mind, spirit, emotions, and environment — that contributes to your symptoms. 

Myth 2: East Asian medicine is limited to pain relief

Nothing could be further from the truth. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrient therapy, and therapeutic massage are proven to effectively treat nearly every type of health condition. 

There’s no doubt that East Asian therapies are highly beneficial for relieving pain. For example, the American College of Physicians recommends acupuncture and massage as the first line of treatment for acute and chronic low back pain. 

Herbal medicine includes many ingredients that treat health problems. Nutrient therapy actively supports your body’s health and prevents disease. Acupuncture boosts blood flow and triggers the release of neurotransmitters, hormones, and endorphins (your body’s natural pain killers).  

In addition to easing pain, these therapies reduce inflammation and promote healing. As a result, the World Health Organization recommends acupuncture for its ability to treat problems, such as:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Acute and allergic rhinitis
  • Infertility and other reproductive problems
  • Addiction
  • Gastritis
  • Facial pain
  • Stress

The United State National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes that acupuncture is effective for other conditions like tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome. Acupuncture works well for sports therapy thanks to its remarkable ability to relax muscles and improve musculoskeletal injuries.  

Myth 3: Acupuncture hurts

You may feel a slight twinge when we insert the needle, but many patients don’t feel anything. After the acupuncture needles are in place, you may occasionally feel tingling sensations. Why is it so easy? Because acupuncture needles are not the same as the hypodermic needles used to inject medicine. 

For starters, acupuncture needles are flexible and incredibly thin. (They’re often compared to the width of a human hair.) The tip of an acupuncture needle is tapered. This shape combined with the slim needle make it easy to slide through your skin. 

By comparison, hypodermic needles are hollow and wide because they have to deliver medication. These hypodermic needles also have a sharp, cutting edge so they can go into your muscles. 

Myth 4: Herbal medicines are just dietary supplements

Herbal medicines are much more than a dietary supplement. Plants contain potent phytochemicals (plant-based substances) that directly influence your metabolism and affect the chemical activities inside your body. 

How powerful are phytochemicals? Some of today’s prescription medications, including digoxin for heart failure, originally came from plants. 

 Thanks to their active ingredients, herbal medications extracted from roots, leaves, seeds, and bark can effectively prevent disease and treat numerous health conditions.  

But that also means they can interact with other therapies you may take, including dietary supplements and prescription and over-the-counter medications. That’s why we encourage you to consult with our herbal medicine experts before taking herbal products. 

We carefully review all the substances you take, evaluate their active ingredients, and ensure you’re not a risk for potentially serious interactions. We also identify the root cause of your health concerns and prescribe herbal medicines that target your individual needs. 

To schedule a visit and learn how East Asian therapies can improve your health, call Docere Integrated Medicine or request an appointment online.

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Docere Integrated Medicine

Docere Integrated Medicine in Auburn, Washington, prides itself on its innovative and integrative approach to health care, encompassing traditional and holistic practices and treatments to provide its patients with excellent care.


4329 A St SE, Suite F, Auburn, WA 98002

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