Posts Tagged ‘TCM school’

Sometimes TCM doctors treat patients mainly according to his or her illness/disorder, in other words, treating each illness/disorder the same. But most of the time, the treatments are individualized, especially when it involves using herbology or dietary adjustment. The same disease or condition may be treated differently depending on the individual’s constitutions and/or the individual’s illness stage; such that acute, chronic, and recovery stages all receive different treatments. Some patients may also have additional conditions to their primary condition, which would alter the formula recipe for the herbal tea.

Because Chinese Medicine uses more than one way to treat conditions or illnesses, one patient may receive acupuncture and Herbology, some may only receive Herbology, while others may receive just acupuncture, or other therapies such as Tui-na, Chinese therapeutic massage or bone-setting. Treatment is also dependent upon a patient’s preference and the provider’s training. For example, some providers may have only received training in acupuncture or herbology alone, while others may have had more extensive training within the whole context of TCM therapies. Therefore, some providers may have additional choices in applying suitable therapies to achieve quick, satisfactory results.

Patients with the same condition may have varied recovery times. When receiving treatment through herbology, it is beneficial to acknowledge that every person has a different constitution. The concept of a constitution in Chinese Medicine infers that every person has different organ function, structure, metabolism, and diverse personalities. Based on one TCM perspective, there are five main types of constitutions: Yang/hot type, Yin/cold type, Phlegm/damp type, Dry type, Neutral Type. Note that an individual usually does not maintain just one constitution; in actuality, people may have mixed physical and mental constitutions.  With TCM doctors’ guidance, each patient is capable of choosing the correct diet for their type, along with prescribed herbal teas, to aim for a neutral constitution and maintain a balanced life.

However, just because two people have the same constitution or pattern, does not mean they will be treated the same. For example, two women may exhibit the same blood-deficiency type; also known was anemia in Western medical terms. Yet one of the two ladies is on her period, and one is not menstruating. The woman menstruating will receive a different herbal tea formula because her body is in a different state. In this sense Dr. Fan says that even if two people have the same illness, but one has a different pattern, you do not treat the two patients the same. Yet even though two people may have a different illness, if their pattern is the same, it is possible treat them both alike. However because many people have other issues in addition to their main illness, it is sensible to treat each individual differently; everything depends on a patient’s specific condition at that particular time.

Personality also plays a role in determining the correct treatment for an individual. Dr. Fan is excellent at noticing a patient’s personality type and then basing a treatment plan off that observation. For example, for those of us who have drunk the herbal tea, we know it doesn’t always taste delicious. Despite the many who do not mind, there are those that prefer not to. Dr. Fan finds alternative means to treat these sensitive patients by either informing them of diet restrictions/additions, or providing them with herbal pills, which are quite easy to swallow and do not bother the stomach like most Western pharmaceuticals. Also for many children, it may be difficult for them to drink the herbal tea because of the taste, so the herbal pills are very convenient for that reason. Sometimes Dr. Fan may use herbs with less bitter or pungent smell/taste to substitute the herbs used in the original formula to make the aroma and taste more acceptable.

Based on the cultural differences, Asian cultures such as China, Korea, and Japan consist of doctors and patients that use more herbology in their treatment plans. In Western countries such as America, doctors and patients are more hesitant to use herbology as a treatment, and lean toward more acupuncture treatment instead. It is beneficial for the doctor-patient relationship to be as open about this as possible to create a happy and positive experience for the patient. Some cultures or societies have specific habits or preferences which they do not wish to change. TCM doctors attempt to understand these cultural differences and respect. In doing so, their treatment or dietary guidance will cater to those who do convey different cultural or societal ideals.

Written and edited by Arthur Fan and Julia Rosenthal.

For more information, visit: www.ChineseMedicineDoctor.US,  www.VITCM.org


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Dear Colleagues & Friends, 

As the golden weather of fall approaches us, I hope everyone is in good health and good spirits.

The Virginia Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine (VITCM) will hold a special professional development activity (PDA) on Sunday, September 25, 2011.

Based on the current NCCAOM board requirements for certificate renewal every four years, there are a few new mandatory requirements: minimal 15 credits in Key knowledge of Acupuncture and Oriental medicine, 4 credits in Safety/Ethics, 11 credits in adjunct therapies, as well as additional 30 credits in other scopes (see detail at http://www.nccaom.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/2011%20Recertification%20Handbook.pdf, http://www.vitcm.org/?page_id=32). We applied 10 credits one day live presentation in field of Safety/Ethic and Adjunct therapies.

We invite you to participate this special PDA event, in this Seminar, you also have opportunity to watch a American documentary movie “9000 Needles”, which got a few international awards as the Best Documentary Movie.

Seminar time: 09/25/2011, 7:30AM to 5:30 PM.

Seminar address:  Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road,Potomac, MD 20854 (only 20 minutes from Vienna/Falls Church); Tel: 240-777-6960.

Contact personDr. Arthur Fan,Cell:(703)499-4428.

Fee: $208 (please make check payable to VITCM), Lunch included.

Early registration before 09/15/2011: you could get 10% off (payment will be $188, please mail the check to VITCM, 8214 Old Courthouse Rd, Vienna, VA 22182). 


7:30AM: Registration

8:00AM-9:30AM: Tai Ji Quan (Tai Chi) and its medical application

By Eugene Zhang, CMD, PhD, LAc & Arthur Fan, CMD, PhD, LAc; Tai Ji Quan in the parking lot, however it may be canceled due to rain

9:30AM-1:30PM: Safety and Ethic in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Practice

Speaker:Lixing Lao,MD, PhD, LAc

Discussion: Arthur Fan, CMD, PhD, LAc

1:30 PM- 3:30PM: Scalp Acupuncture: Prof. Shi Xuemin experience in Neurological disorders

Movie “9000 NEEDLES,” By Arthur Fan, CMD, PhD, LAc;

3:30PM-5:30PM: Cupping, Guasha and Its clinical Applications with demonstration

By Quansheng Lu, CMD, PhD, LAc.


1. Lixing Lao, MD, PhD, LAc:Professor at the Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, international well-known scholar in Acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Former Chairman, Society of Acupuncture Research.

2. Eugene Zhang, CMD, PhD, LAc: Well-known scholar and doctor in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, former professor of Maryland Institute of Traditional Chinese medicine (MITCM). Board member of CCAOM. An outstanding practitioner of Tai Ji Quan (Tai Chi) and Qi Gong.

3. Quasheng Lu, CMD, PhD, LAc: Well-known scholar and doctor in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, very skilled in the application of various TCM therapies.

4. Arthur Fan, CMD, PhD, LAc: Well-known scholar and doctor in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, director of Virginia Institute of Traditional Chinese medicine (VITCM). Also excellent practitioner of Tai Ji Quan (Tai Chi), Qi Gong.

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