An Intro: Traditional Chinese Medicine

 

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In all things of nature there is something marvelous.

THE FUNDAMENTALS OF VIBRANT HEALTH, life-promoting paths, longevity and harmonizing mind, body and spirit have been documented by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) over the span of 3000 years. All that is present in the world is cyclic in nature with corresponding dualities that aim to unify and create equilibrium. Eastern Botanicals aims to create products with an optimal balance of herbs to create optimal balance in the body.

Dr. Michelle Tien Dao is the president of Eastern Botanicals and holds a Masters of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MAOM) from the top-ranked American College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Houston. Her expertise has long been inherited over generations starting with her great grandfather, Dr. Kiet, a CaoDai monk and herbalist in Vietnam. With the vast knowledge accumulated over the years, the current lineup of Eastern Botanical formulations target blood sugar balance, menopause, liver health, mood balance and sexual stamina, amongst others.

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The team at Eastern Botanicals use the most stringent standards to identify herbal species and test for heavy metals, pesticides, aflatoxins, aristrolochic acid, yeast, mold, and other microbes. The manufacturing team is certified for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) by the Natural Products Association. Eastern Botanicals will be exhibiting at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim running March 6-8, 2015. The formulations pictured above will soon be available for purchase directly through their webshop, stay tuned!

Below we speak to President, Michelle Tien Dao:

Forth Culture: What inspired you to forge your way into Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Michelle Tien Dao: Herbal Medicine is a long tradition in my family. One of my earliest memories is the first time I saw my father stick an acupuncture needle into a patient.  I thought the patient would yell and react in pain, but the patient was instead calm and relaxed.  The patient even thanked him after the treatment with a big smile and gave him a basket of fruits as a gift. 

So from a very young age, my impression of Traditional Chinese Medicine has always been positive and quite personally dear to my heart.  Everyone in my family would drink herbal tea and take my father’s herbs when the weather turned cold. Illnesses didn’t come often, and when they did, they never stayed around too long. The herbs have kept us healthy and well for generations now. So, you see, following the path of TCM isn’t only my passion but it is my heritage.

FC: For those who aren’t familiar, what are the central tenets to TCM?
MTD:  It is considered to be the oldest medicinal practice in the world, dating back more than 3,000 years.  The philosophy behind TCM is the principle of Yin and Yang and the 5 elements theory. The idea is that the health and vitality of any living thing depends on balance. When things get out of balance, stress and disease occurs.  The external world (i.e. weather, external pathogens, stressful situations, etc.) can cause an imbalance in our internal world, our body and mind. TCM is a system, a mode of treatments and lifestyle that can moderate and harmonize the body and mind to bring them back to a state of balance and wellness. TCM is comprised primarily of herbal medicine, acupuncture, tuina (a type of massage therapy using acupressure points), tai chi and Qi Gong (energy-regulating exercises with a foundation in martial arts).

FC: Can you tell us a little bit more about these various modalities and their benefits?
MTD: Everything in the body according to TCM has to do with Qi (vital energy/life force), Blood (material part of the body), Yin and Yang.  All of the modalities of TCM are there to harmonize and balance Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang.

Acupuncture was founded by ancient martial arts & meditation masters thousands of years ago.  These masters developed a system of 365 classic acupuncture points, which can be used by an acupuncturist to harmonize the flow of energy in the body and promote healthy bodily functions.  Acupuncture needles are thin and often painless and can activate the acupuncture points to create therapeutic effects.

Herbs have the same function as acupuncture but tend to have longer, more sustained therapeutic effects.  They work directly on the internal organs and perform exceptionally well in restoring balance related to chronic illnesses.  Often herbs show better results with much more complicated health conditions compared to acupuncture alone.

Tai Chi and Qi Gong are exercise techniques that can regulate energy flow throughout the body.  These techniques promote physical balance, strength and vitality due to their unique focus on breathing coupled with movements and postures.  It is normally encouraged that tai chi and Qi Gong be performed early in the morning and in open and natural environments to maximize their benefits.

FC: How would you explain the concepts of Jing, Shen and Qi and the balance of Yin and Yang?
MTD: In TCM the 3 treasures are known as Jing, Shen and Qi.  Jing is the vital essence that you possess at birth when your mother transfers her life essence to you.  It is the material substance that embodies the physical aspect of you.  Shen is your spirit, your mind, and even your heart in some instances.  It is your intuition, your feelings, and your thoughts.  Qi is the universal energy that flows through you, it is what gives you life and what exists inside and outside of you and everything else in between – it encompasses all of existence.

Yin and Yang is the concept of duality.  Everything that exists around us abides by this rule.  There can be no night without day, no darkness without light, no masculine without feminine.  Too much of either one can be harmful and so the need for balance of Yin and Yang is vital to everyone’s happiness, health and abundance.  Only when they are balanced can you achieve harmony and peace.

FC: In TCM, the mind and body are intimately connected and each organ is associated with a range of emotions, tell us about this.
MTD: When the Liver gets overused and is under stress, it can cause anger.  When the Spleen is affected, it can cause pensiveness and worry.  When one is doing something he/she loves, the Heart is filled with joy.  However, when one is sad, he/she will find that it gets hard to breath because the Lungs are directly impacted.  Sometimes, one may even literally pee his pants when he feels fearful because the Kidneys are connected to the body’s urinary functions!  The ancient Chinese have kept records and studied the mind and body phenomenon for thousands of years.  They noted the correlations and used this as a way to diagnose diseases and formulate treatment plans.

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