What is traditional Chinese medicine? How would you define it?
SD: TCM is one of the oldest healing arts in the world. It is based on 3,000+ years of medical practice. This medical system is still used today to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. It uses acupuncture, herbal medicine, gua sha, cupping, body work, exercise, meditation and nutrition to treat the entire wellbeing of a person - mentally, physically and spiritually. So they can live a healthy, vital life.
MH: What drew you to TCM? How did you become a practitioner?
SD: I always had an interest in health and wellness. My bachelors was in interior design. While in design school, I was intrigued with Japanese wooden houses and their connection to nature. The idea we are part of nature and everything is connected resonated with me. I started reading more on Eastern philosophy which opened me to the world of martial arts. Soon, I was on my way to getting a Masters of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin.
MH: What is the underlying philosophy of TCM and how does it differ from western medicine?
SD: The underlying philosophy of TCM is life is dynamic and in a constant state of change. We are part of nature, everything is connected and a change in one part will affect the whole. Therefore, the entire wellbeing of an individual is taken into consideration in diagnosing and treatment. When synergistic systems work together, there is optimal health and vitality. There is also an emphasis on prevention and wellness.
Western medicine differs from Eastern medicine in several ways. It does not see the body as a dynamic whole or part of nature. It isolates systems to understand disease and treatment. Western medicine does not take in consideration the total wellbeing of a person - mentally, physically and spiritually. Also, Western medicine focuses solely on the treatment of diseases and not prevention.
MH: How are herbs/plants used in TCM?
SD: Chinese herbal medicine is a branch of TCM. Herbal formulas can be used alone or in combination with acupuncture to treat chronic and acute conditions. Acupuncture works on the nervous system (or energetic system) and herbal formulas work through the digestive system. It can be a powerful combination. We use classical formulas that date back 3,000+ years to treat modern day conditions. A practitioner might modified a formula but most are based on classical formulas. The right diagnosis with the right formula(s) at the correct dosage can be very effective in treating many conditions. Also, it’s natural and easily processed by the body. As well as, they don’t have a long list of side effects.
Chinese formulas come in three forms - raw, powders and patents. Raw is the best but has it’s disadvantages in convenience, taste and smell. Therefore, many people go with the patents because taking a pill is more familiar to them.
MH: What are some of the conditions you treat?
SD: I treat a wide range of conditions but mostly conditions related to orthopedics/sports medicine and women’s health - pain, injuries, recovery, infertility, PMS, menopause, digestive disorders, anxiety, stress, headaches, insomnia, etc. As always, I focus on the wellbeing of every person that walks through my door.
MH: Are there any other things you’d like our readers to know about TCM?
SD: It’s an amazing medicine. TCM views healthcare through a different lens. It is a lifestyle medicine. It is wholistic, natural, safe and effective. With the rise in chronic disease and medication prescriptions, we need to find other ways to take care of ourselves. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a super star.
Sheri Davidson, L.Ac and owner of Element 5, Acupuncture + Wellness, practices in a boutique-style clinic located in Houston’s charming Rice Village area. She has over 11+ years of experience practicing and perfecting the art of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Her modern approach is rooted in ancient tradition. She achieves this through integrating Western thought, integrative health coaching with the clinically-proven results of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in a calming, comfortable, professional environment.
“The only way to optimal health is to take care of ourselves everyday emotionally, physically and mentally.”
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L.Ac + Integrative Health and Wellness Coach