Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine – Minneapolis St. Paul, MN

In the 21st Century, almost everyone has heard of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. You probably know several people who have benefited from the use of acupuncture or herbal medicine for some medical condition. Together, they make up Chinese Medicine. Developed and used for more than 2000 years, Chinese Medicine has helped restore and maintain health and wellness for billions of people around the world, and represents one of the world’s two primary health care philosophies.

Western allopathic medicine is the other primary medical philosophy, and is based on completely different principles from Chinese Medicine. As the primary medical philosophy in the United States and Europe, western medicine discounted Chinese Medicine for most of its history. That is changing. More and more western medical professionals are learning about the unique benefits of Chinese Medicine, and research has demonstrated its effectiveness. Hospitals and physicians are increasingly including Chinese Medicine in the treatment plans for their patients, and often refer patients to practitioners of Chinese Medicine. Today, most health insurance plans include some coverage of Chinese Medicine. Increased cooperation between the two health care philosophies has resulted in better health and wellness for people all over the world.

When I was diagnosed with the extremely painful bladder condition interstitial cystitis, the disease robbed me of my career, my social life, and my personal life. It has taken a while but I am working again and my social life is back! Thank you Amy! – Jim, St Paul, MN

Schools, like Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, CA, teach Chinese Medicine and other associated practices to practitioners in this country, and offer the quality of training once only found in China. Many western medical professionals and a growing number of practitioners like Amy Nystrom, L.Ac. have completed Master of Science programs at these schools in preparation for becoming licensed practitioners of Chinese Medicine.

The Principles and Practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Chinese Medicine is based on different principles and theories than western medicine. Rather than the western medical focus on isolated and material aspects of the body, Chinese Medicine focuses on the immaterial aspects of the body and harmonious interaction of the functional systems of the body. When these systems are in harmony, there is health. When they are out of harmony, there is illness and pain. Chinese Medicine practitioners check your pulse and look at your tongue to determine how those systems are functioning together. Along with the patient’s account of symptoms, the practitioner makes a Chinese medical diagnosis and determines a treatment plan. In most cases, treatment will consist of one of two basic methods:

  • Acupuncture – One of the fundamental principles of Chinese Medicine is the concept of Qi. Sometimes spelled Chi, it is a vital energy and information that flows throughout the body. When the flow of Qi is free and unrestricted, the body is healthy. When it is not free, illness results. Over 2000 years, more than 1000 acupuncture points have been mapped on the body. Insertion of extremely fine needles at those points helps to adjust the proper flow of Qi, according to Chinese medical philosophy. The results of acupuncture treatments support that philosophy, and many patients experience immediate and lasting relief of pain and other symptoms. In some cases, Chinese Medicine treatment methods, such as cupping and moxa are used as adjuncts to the acupuncture needles. Acupuncture requires extensive training and experience, and only licensed professionals should be allowed to perform these treatments.
  • Chinese Herbal Medicine – The second primary part of Chinese Medicine is the use of herbal medicine. Developed over 2500 years ago, Chinese herbal medicines are mixtures of natural products, such as flowers, leaves and roots and are taken as decoctions or teas, or sometimes as pills, tinctures, and powdered extracts. Unlike the pharmaceutical drugs used in western medicine and the typical single ingredient western herbs used in other alternative treatments, Chinese herbal medicines do not just treat individual symptoms, but are complex combinations of natural ingredients, formulated to create the proper balances in body systems. Chinese herbal medicines are formulated to avoid unpleasant side effects. In most cases, they are compatible with western pharmaceuticals, but practitioners like Amy Nystrom, L.Ac. always carefully consider prescription drugs you are taking, along with over-the-counter medications, when selecting herbal medicines for you.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Requires Extensive Training

When selecting a practitioner of Chinese Medicine, it’s very important to consider training and experience. Requirements for acupuncturists and herbal medicine practitioners vary widely from state to state. In Minnesota, for example, it is possible to practice these treatment methods with very short training times. In certain cases, no proof of training at all is required at all. Chinese Medicine is a complex discipline, and its proper use requires extensive education and training, along with long practical experience. Before choosing a practitioner, you should inquire into the education, training and experience of your provider.

When I came to see Amy I was so anxious and depressed. She guided me through lifestyle changes, gave me herbs and administered acupuncture. My mood has lifted and the anxiety has subsided. Thanks to our work together, I am at peace and have a deep sense of well-being. – Cindy, Plymouth, MN

Amy Nystrom, L.Ac. – Traditional Chinese Medicine – Minneapolis, MN

Amy Nystrom, L. Ac. studied Oriental Medicine in all its forms at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, San Diego, CA, and earned a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine from that accredited school. She has also taught classes there. As a health care practitioner since 1991, she has helped thousands of patients. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University, Seattle, WA, and is a member of two professional associations, the Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Association of Minnesota and the Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Alliance. Fully licensed in Minnesota and California and certified nationally, she has practiced in Minnesota since 2000. Contact Amy Nystrom, L. Ac. to discuss your health care needs and learn if acupuncture and Chinese medicine are right for you.