Uncommon Healer profile: published December 2004
WHO: Karen Lam Dr.TCM, L.Ac. Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, General and Pre-natal practice, Doula.
QUICK TAKE: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient art of healing.
Treatment incorporates herbs, acupuncture, massage, diet, exercise and lifestyle to influence the vital energy (Qi) contained within every person to invigorate their own natural healing capacities. Way of theory: to treat the ‘whole’, combining body, mind and spirit. It is a recognized form of medicine by the World Health Organization (WHO) and by the Province of BC.
HOW IT WORKS: Diagnosis involves understanding patterns of sickness and health. In consultation I use a variety of methods including Pulse diagnosis, Tongue diagnosis, Muscle testing (kinesiology) and Bio Meridian Scans for allergies. This gives me a bigger picture to what is really going on and then acupuncture or herbal therapy is given. Most sessions last an hour and patients usually feel very relaxed and calmer than when first came in. Quite often, patients get alot of relief if they’ve been in pain. Patients re-connect their awareness of mind to body and gain more knowledge on how to take care of themselves. Acupuncture can also help prepare the body for conception, maintain good health during pregnancy and prepare for the birthing process (labour). It offers treatment when medication cannot be used during pregnancy.
MAINSTREAM VS. ALTERNATIVE OR OLD VS. NEW: TCM and Acupuncture is wonderful as it can be used at anytime and in conjunction with any other therapy, be it allopathic or other natural therapies.
BIGGEST MYTH/MISCONCEPTION: TCM is not folk story medicine or superstitious tradition. TCM is a recognized and regulated source of healthcare in BC. It is very important to make sure that you find a practitioner who is properly licensed from the College of TCM and Acupuncturists of BC (CTCMA). TCM practitioners go through at least 4 years of intensive study. We are thoroughly examined by provincial exams before being licensed and have a deep understanding of how Qi works in our bodies when it comes to Acupuncture, herbal medicines and theory.
CASE/PERSONAL HISTORY: My family was involved in lots of martial arts for discipline, exercise and sport. As a kid there were always some magic points on the body to be rubbed to rid of pain or herbs to be ingested in soup that was good for health. As a teenager when I worked in our family store in Vancouver Chinatown, I recognized the herbs found in the apothecary as those in my soups!
My dad, grandmother and uncle are my real influences. I was later inspired to be a practitioner when I worked at Integrative Healing Arts, the doctors there are truly gifted healers. I have worked there for almost 20 years!
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