Oriental Medicine is a complete medical system that diagnoses, treats, and prevents illness. Its history dates back over 2,500 years. While it can remedy physical, mental, emotional and spiritual ailments, it can also enhance recovery, immunity, and the ability to engage in all aspects of a healthy lifestyle.
In the United States, Oriental Medical practitioners must undergo a rigorous 4 year post-graduate degree program that includes education in basic Western medical sciences and 1500 hours of clinical internship. Successful completion of a state-board license exam is also required before a graduate can call oneself a LAc (Licensed Acupuncturist.) Those who continue on to the doctoral level must study and train for another 3 years. In states like California, Oriental Medical practitioners are primary healthcare providers and can order blood labs and other radiological exams that a Western medical doctor would.
The strategy of Oriental Medicine is a restoration of health through a holistic medical model. Every patient is seen as a sum of whole parts or systems, each of which affect and support each other. Patients are active participants in their health rather than bystanders looking to be "fixed" by their doctor. This means an ongoing relationship between patient and acupuncturist that entails education and honest dialogue as both work to change diet, lifestyle, and the environment in which disease has taken root.
Much like a gardener uses irrigation, compost, and knowledge of natural principles to cultivate a thriving garden, an Oriental Medicine doctor uses acupuncture, massage, herbs, food, exercise, and lifestyle guidelines to restore and maintain a healthy body, mind, and spirit.
One of the greatest misconceptions of health is that it is a static, two dimensional, state of being that is defined simply as the absence of disease. The truth is that it's a multidimensional, dynamic, process that involves being aware of what our bodies are trying to tell us and how to understand this body-language. The aspects of mind and spirit are equally important facets that become part of the overall foundation.
The word "spirit" can be interpreted many ways and I feel it necessary at this point to clarify what I mean by this term. In Oriental Medicine, the "shen" is the consciousness and ability to engage in the world from a greater perspective than our own.
Understanding the core concepts of body, mind, and spirit (shen) are the first steps into a deeper and profound understanding of Oriental Medicine and/or any other holistic form of medicine.
-Dr. Kyle Miura is a doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in California.
He holds a Doctorate in Neuromuscular Medicine from Five Branches University (San Jose) and Master degrees in Oriental Medicine from the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College (Berkeley), Public Health and Sociology (University of Hawaii), Counseling Psychology (Chaminade University), Theology (Pacific School of Religion), and a Bachelor degree in Molecular Biology (University of Maryland).