Eastern Medical Arts. What does that mean?

by Tobey Williamson, L.Ac.

Eastern Medical Arts. What does that mean?, Good Hearth in Rockland, Maine 

Actually, there is a lot behind this tagline. Let me explain... 

Consider first that the medicine of East Asia is as vast and varied as its landscapes.  For instance, there have been as many styles of acupuncture as there are villages in China. (there are more than a million of those by the way)  And that’s just ONE country among dozens that practice ancient techniques of natural healing that fit under the umbrella of East Asian or Oriental Medicine.  Since I practice a Japanese style of structural acupuncture (called Seitai Shinpo) and Traditional and Classical Chinese Medicine styles of herbalism here in Midcoast Maine, it made sense to have a word that encompasses these two Asian countries.  “Eastern” accomplishes this and it also fit with Rockland being on the eastern coast of the USA.  Furthermore, it distinguishes the medicine I practice from Western Medicine, which together work well to deliver holistic health and wellness.

Eastern Medicine (often called “Oriental” or “Traditional Chinese” Medicine) is a system of natural healthcare that views the body, mind, and spirit as an integrated whole.  The internal organs connect out to the limbs of our bodies in unlikely ways through muscle and connective tissue meridians.  Interestingly, these organs and meridians are sensitive to particular emotions; the liver and anger are linked, the heart and joy, the lungs and sadness, etc.  Digestion and mood interact powerfully and lead to particular patterns of health or imbalance.  Basically, how we eat, breathe, move, think, feel and live all paint a picture of our overall health.  For instance, if we have self-care relaxation methods that lead to stress relief; our bodies respond by digesting better, healing more quickly when we get sick or injured, and having abundant energy when we are well.

So, when I consider the question of whether medicine is an art or science, my first thought is that each patient is unique.  What flows directly from this understanding is that, as my patient your treatment is going to be tailored exactly for you. 

The tools in the toolbox of Eastern Medicine are also so varied that options for treatment can be matched directly to your needs.  If you are looking for pain management for a musculo-skeletal injury, Seitai Shinpo acupuncture might be combined with massage, a custom Traditional Chinese herbal formula, some movement therapy exercises, breathing practice, a dietary recommendation, and a suggestion for a lifestyle modification. Lyme Disease is another common concern here in Maine.  A typical course of therapy for Lyme would focus on moxibustion especially, and also acupuncture, dietary recommendations, Classical Chinese Herbal formulas, and techniques for stress relief / relaxation.

The intent of the treatment plan in the case of Lyme Disease would be building up your body’s natural immunity. The goal of the treatment plan in the case of pain management for a musculo-skeletal injury is to relax the soft tissue enough to allow the spine, pelvis and limbs to align properly restoring free blood and energy flow.  With just these two cases it already becomes clear that Eastern medicine is so flexible it needs to be considered an art.  That being said, never forget that its history is long and tested with the same empirical roots of the scientific method.  As acupuncturists, herbalists, and practitioners of Eastern Medical Arts, we choose particular natural healing techniques because they have been shown to work with similar cases in the past.

The real power at Good Hearth is that these two goals, spinal alignment and robust immune function, from two distinct treatment plans are at the core of treating each unique patient.  The fact is, a correctly aligned spine, a robust and balanced immune system, good nutrition and digestion, and a healthy outlook on life are known to be mutually supportive in holistic health, helping everyone to feel well. 

How we each get to that place of wellness from where we are is the fun and wonder of practicing the Eastern Medical Arts.

Tobey Williamson offers Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine in Rockland, Maine
While the weather has been chilling us down, Good Hearth has been warming people up and helping them to manage their pain with acupuncture, moxibustion, massage and Chinese herbal medicine in Rockland Maine.