Acupuncture is only one aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or sometimes called East Asian, an ancient system of Chinese healing. Traditional Chinese Medicine also includes exercise, dietary therapy, mental exercise and the use of herbal medicine. Acupuncture uses small, thin needles that are inserted into the skin at specific points. When stimulated, these points activate the body’s healing energy, called “qi” or “chi” in Chinese. One of the most important methods of assessing a patient in Traditional Chinese Medicine is pulse diagnosis. This is a very subtle technical that requires considerable training. A well-trained acupuncturist will also diagnosis the patient by examining the tongue, face, and colorization of the skin, as well as uses other Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques. Dr. Sorensen has over 18 years doing acupuncture and is board certified in acupuncture by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Botanical, or herbal, medicine is using the gifts of the plants to improve wellness. The herbs may be added to foods or used as teas. A traditional Chinese way of making herbs is to make a strong tea called a decoction, and many of these are formulas that are hundreds of years old. Herbal tinctures are usually made with alcohol, but can also be made with vinegar or glycerin, and can be individualized to specific patient needs. Many herbs can be found in capsules and tablets, perhaps more convenient to the modern life. But beware, some retail brands might have issues of adulteration, or contamination. Your consultation will generally include botanical medicine recommendations. Dr. Sorensen has been involved with the American Herbalists Guild, the American Botanical Council, and has given presentations to the Great Lakes Herb Faire and the MidAmerica Herbal Symposium.
Naturopathic medicine has been a distinct natural health care profession for one hundred years. It is based on the timeless philosophy of Vis Medicatrix Naturae, "the healing power of nature." This means that all true healing is the result of the body/mind’s natural ability to heal itself. Naturopathic physicians help to remove the obstacles to cure and employ natural therapies that strengthen and stimulate the body/mind’s own healing processes. They treat the whole person (i.e. physically mentally and socially) with natural health care tailored to meet the individual’s personal needs.
Often, the needs of women are different from men in many ways. Natural medicine, including acupuncture, can support issues that occur with the menstrual cycle, reduce symptoms of PMS, help with infertility, ease the transition into menopause, and overall support hormone balance.
Stress and Emotional Health Support
There are times when life feels stressful and overwhelming. Other times, depression and mood disorders may impact daily living. Natural medicine can help reduce some of these symptoms. It may also help ease cravings when making the transition to healthy lifestyle. Acupuncture has been shown to help addictions, when combined with a comprehensive treatment.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) in flower. Photographed by Lorinda Sorensen at the NUHS Botanical garden.