Many people think of the Chinese medicine you receive at your local acupuncture clinic and the Western medicine you receive at your doctor’s office as existing in two different worlds. Decades ago, when acupuncture and Chinese medicine began cropping up in the United States, that was true. But not any more.
Today, many Western doctors regularly recommend that their patients seek out acupuncture. And acupuncturists refer their patients to a doctor when the need arises, or when a case is beyond their scope of practice. Furthermore, an increasing number of research studies have been able to document the physiological affects of acupuncture–basically explaining how acupuncture creates changes in your neurological, immune, circulatory, and endocrine systems to facilitate healing.
The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio has gone one step further. They have opened a Chinese herbal therapy ward. Supervised by MD’s who work with nationally credentialed herbal therapists, the Clinic offers encapsulated herbs to patients as a way of extending care to patients who are suffering from such problems as digestive issues, chronic pain, fertility issues, fatigue, and sleep disorders. Herbal therapists are required to have a three to four years of master’s-degree-level education in acupuncture and Chinese medicine and a series of certification exams in Oriental medicine, herbal studies and Western biomedicine.
While offering Chinese herbs at the Cleveland Clinic seems like a small step, it is actually ground breaking in its acceptance of Chinese medicine and the efficacy of herbal therapy.