It is a privilege to discuss my thoughts on TCM and Acupuncture and relate some of my observations on the incorporation of its use in Western hospital settings. As a native of Singapore, I am a third-generation practitioner of Traditional Oriental Medicine. One could say I was raised in the medicine. Both my grandfathers were herbologists and TCM doctors. While holding earlier business-related degrees from Brigham Young University/Hawaii, I earned my Cardiovascular degree from Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida and my Traditional Chinese Medicine Training from East-West College of Natural Medicine in Sarasota, Florida and with that received National Board certification with NCCAOM. In the last 19 years of practicing both Eastern and Western medicine and running 3 private practices in Florida and Arizona, I have also worked in the Catherization Lab at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Florida; and most recently as a member of the Integrative Medical Team of Banner M.D. Andersen Cancer Center in Gilbert, Arizona.
After cross-country moves from Florida to Alaska and then Arizona, my husband and I settled in Scottsdale/Mesa Arizona where I established 2 practices. It was an exciting opportunity in 2017; I was invited to join the Oncology Integrative Team at M.D. Andersen in Arizona.
TCM has come a long way from the 70’s to present day, from being illegal to practice to now integrating medical practices in some hospitals. We are standing on the shoulders of many that have come before with their hard work and diligence. I do believe we still have a long way to go. There are different levels of acceptance of TCM practices in hospitals across the US and this varies from state to state. From research acupuncturist working with herbal studies and acupuncture protocols to establish evidence based science to hospitals who just wants acupuncture as an alternative modality because there is a demand. Overall, there is still a lack of understanding and doubt of TCM in the western medical world.
There is definitely an increase in awareness of and interest in the benefits of TCM through the years. This leads to conversations and demands from the healthcare system we presently have. With the participation of the insurance system, that awareness and interest heightens. Hospitals particularly in the world of oncology are beginning to see the benefits of how acupuncture can help cancer patients alleviate the discomfort and pain that comes with post cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. Many patients ask for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) methods to enhance the efficacy of their cancer treatment, to boost their immune system, and to reduce side effects and increase tolerability of conventional cancer care. Hence, it is refreshing to see the various forms of alternative care such as yoga, massage, and even essentials oils that facilitate that demand in those hospitals. Acupuncture a well-established part of TCM and 1 of the oldest treatments, is one of the most frequently requested and offered treatments. In the area of nausea, neuropathy, xerostomia, cancer related fatigue, dsyphsia etc. has led to positive results.
Below are some thoughts that I have observed that might help speed up a true integration that will benefit future patients. Namely: Increase the amount for evidence based studies on both acupuncture and herbal medicine, secondly, as practitioners we need to work together and bring a unifying effort to have Acupuncturists and Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicines recognized as key health care providers in ALL 50 states. With this recognition, comes the respect our branch of health care deserves, and along with the compensation equal to other branches of medicine. Lastly, a strong encouragement to all Colleges of TCM to instill in all their graduates a higher level of respect for our selected practice of medicine – one that has now stood the test of time for over two thousand years.
Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to China with Dr Dan Wen of TCMZone and a team of TCM colleagues to receive further training on TCM. I have seen integration of western medicine such as chemotherapy and radiation, and Chinese herbal infusion used on patients post cancer treatments. The results were phenomenal and I can only hope the day will come when our branch of medicine will take its place as equal part of the treatment protocol in our hospitals as well.
By Sherri Taylor, L.Ac.
TCMzone, LLC is a leading national herbal product company located in Tempe, Arizona that has raised the standard of Chinese Medicine. TCMzone utilizes high quality contract manufacturers in Japan and China. TCMzone’s specialty is modernizing Chinese Medicine by offering the ancient wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine and providing a modern day use of Chinese Herbals for practitioners to give to their patients. One of the ways TCMzone does this is by providing herbal granule products to providers to take place of decocting raw herbs. Herbal granules are easy and convenient to use. You don’t need to spend time decocting herbs, you just need to add hot water to the granules which makes them convenient for “on the go” use. Another important feature using herbal granules is that they are tested and standardized. Each herbal product has a certificate of analysis that confirms a regulated product has reached its specifications in terms of amount of the herb and meets the standards for purity and safety. The certificate of analysis ensures the quality of the herbal product and is the result of a series of tests done by the manufacturers.
The process of granulation includes sourcing the raw herb, cutting, weighing and mixing, extraction and separation, spray drying and powder mixture of herbal extract, granulation and packaging. The finished granulation product has a 5:1 concentration ratio. This means that one gram of granules is equal to 5 grams of raw herbs. There a few exceptions to this rule, but most granules are in this dosage form. Granulation is a size enlargement process that converts small particles into physically stronger and larger particles. There are two types of granulation, wet and dry. Dry granulation consists of the mixture of powder being compressed with very little binders and fillers (excipients). Dry granulation is primarily used in mainland China. Wet granulation is the traditional pharmaceutical method of granulation and involves wet massing a powder mixture with a granulating liquid and includes more steps until the finished product. Wet granulation tends to use more binders and fillers to help formation of granules. Granulation originated in Japan in the 1970’s and Taiwan in the 1980’s where wet granulation is used, the most traditional method.
TCMzone is committed to providing high quality herbs to providers so they can feel confident about the safety and efficacy of the product they are giving to their patients. TCMzone manufacturers ensure sourcing authentic medicinal herbs as shown in the Chinese and Japanese Pharmacopoeia. All TCMzone manufacturers provide rigorous testing of the herbal products for a certificate of analysis of the product and comply with pharmaceutical good manufacturing practices (GMP). High quality tests are performed to ensure the quality, safety, and authentication of herbs. These tests include: High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC), Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectometry, High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), and Microscopy.
TCMzone offers both forms of granules. Wet granulation herbs are mainly classical formulas from the Shang Han Lun that are the Honso brand. Dry granulation herbs are from mainland China. TCMzone single herbs are offered in daily-dose packets and 100 gram bottles for your single herbal dispensary. Formulas are available in unit-dose packets, vegi-capsules and 100 gram bottles.
TCMzone is proud to be a US pioneer of granule herbs to provide the very best in herbal products to the Integrative Healthcare community. Be a trusted source of herbal medicine for your patients. Call us today with your questions and speak to our on-site herbal consultant.
By: Sherri Taylor, L.Ac.
This month we are focusing our attention on TCM for digestive conditions. Digestive conditions are vast and common and TCM offers powerful therapies to support a healthy digestive system*. Our TCMCeuticals® Digestive line consisting of three (3) formulas for the upper, middle and lower jiao are the fundamental digestive formulas for your practice. Our formulator, Dr. Haihe Tian’s comprehensive TCMCeuticals® digestive line consists of Esophageal Balance for the upper jiao, Digestive support for the middle jiao and Colon Harmony for the lower jiao*. These three (3) formulas address the most common patterns of digestive imbalance and are based on Dr. Tian’s years of clinical experience in G.I.*. Read the description below for Chinese Medicine pattern indicated for each of these formulas.
Esophageal Balance– is appropriate for the upper GI tract and upper jiao. It is indicated for an excess heat pattern with liver overacting on the stomach. The chief ingredients in this formula make up Zuo Jin Wan. The function of this formula is to clear heat and direct rebellious qi downward. The remaining ingredients assist with directing the rebellious qi downward and preventing chronic conditions*.
Chinese Medicine Pattern– Liver overacting on the stomach with heat*.
Esophageal Balance contains the following ingredients:
**Huang Lian (Chief Herb)
**Wu Zhu Yu (Chief Herb)
These 2 ingredients are the chief herbs that make up Zuo Jin Wan. Other ingredients include: Chai Hu, Huang Qin, Xiang Fu, Duan Wa Leng Zi, and San Qi.
Digestive Support– promotes the function of the stomach, and middle jiao. The Chinese Medicine pattern is mainly for Qi stagnation in the stomach. This may be due to over eating or poor dietary habits. Digestive Support is also useful for digestive problems due to emotional upset*.
Chinese Medicine Pattern: Spleen and Stomach Qi deficiency with Liver Qi stagnation*.
Digestive Support contains the following ingredients:
**Chai Hu (Chief Herb)
**Xiang Fu (Chief Herb)
**Both of these herbs work together to spread the Liver Qi, regulate the emotions, decrease pain, and balance Liver and Spleen disharmony*. Other ingredients are Zhi Ke, Da Fu Pi, Xiang Yuan, Fo Shou, Zi Su Geng, Chao Bai Shao, Zhi Gan Cao, and Yan Hu Suo.
Colon Harmony– assists with harmonizing the lower GI tract to help correct the imbalance of function and bacteria in the lower jiao. This formula raises the Spleen Qi, improves Spleen function, and soothes the liver*.
Chinese Medicine Pattern- Spleen Yang deficiency with Liver Qi stagnation*.
Colon Harmony contains the following ingredients:
**He Ye (Chief Herb)
**Ge Gen (Chief Herb)
**Xiang Fu (Chief Herb)
These three herbs are the main herbs in this formula. Primarily, these three (3) herbs raise the Spleen Qi and assist with the liver Qi stagnation*. Other ingredients to assist with this action include Chai Hu, Chao Bai Zhu, Chao Bai Shao, Shan Yao, Rou Gui, and Zhi Gan Cao.
Questions about any of these formulas? Contact TCMzone and speak to our herbal consultant, Sherri Taylor, L.Ac. Call 888-788-8086 on Mondays, 12-2pm PT or email any time firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oriental medicine practice and utilization in America is in such an exciting period of growth and expansion, and I feel so blessed to be in practice at this time. I did my training in the mid 1990’s in Miami, FL and got my license in early 1997. The times have changed so much, on every front, that many of my students seem so shocked when I tell them stories ‘of the old days’, even though in the grand scheme of things, it was not that long ago.
The most vital aspect of this is the massive increase in awareness of and interest in all aspects of oriental medicine that regular and average citizens have. This has occurred rapidly and exponentially. One benefit of this is that doctors and large medical institutions have followed along. Sometimes driven from the patient level up, and other times because high level accreditations have begun requiring integrative methodologies and integrative medicine departments. And acupuncture is at the top of the list of the most required and desired integrative practices.
I ran a private practice, renting clinical space, in a community hospital based breast cancer center because of a fabulous and progressive Medical Director there. We began this in 2005 and this continued and thrived until 2015, when the hospital created a fully comprehensive Integrative Medicine Department. It was quite a journey and project, with many trials and tribulations to get to that point, but I am since then happily part of a full department and a well supported program. I am a full time employee along with a full support staff, a second, part time acupuncturist, a nurse practitioner, and a full time Integrative Medicine Doctor, trained by Andrew Weil. We partner with other departments and programs throughout the hospital that provide massage, yoga, diet and nutrition, mindful meditation, and exercise.
Integrative practice, whether hospital based or not, is not suited for everyone, nor is everyone suited for it. I love it and find it compelling and stimulating, but it also has challenges and requires compromises. TCMzone has asked me to do a webinar with them this month. I will be sharing and providing a wide spectrum of information about hospital based integrative acupuncture practice, including aspects of my own experience. I will cover the major topics for those curious about hospital based practice. In a second webinar, also this month, I will cover necessary components and attributes of good quality professional medical records. This is a vital aspect that we must all strive to do well, especially as we seek greater utilization and more respect by patients and the overall health care system.
Since 2000, I have been a teacher at several schools in our profession, all in Florida. I absolutely love being a teacher. I teach in the classroom and continuing education. I have learned so much from teaching and preparing lectures. I have learned so much from my students. The interaction in the classroom and in seminars is invigorating, and every year the enthusiasm, passion and drive of those in our profession increases. As someone in the later portion of their career, this is beautiful and I can only imagine how much further they will all take us.
From 2004 to 2010 I had the pleasure to serve as President of the Florida State Oriental Medicine Association (FSOMA). This was an amazing experience and I learned so much and met so many people, all working hard to spread the word and power of oriental medicine, helping us all move forward and come out of the shadows. FSOMA recently decided to undertake an expensive and difficult task, to challenge the Florida Board of Physical Therapy that had decided to add ‘dry needling’ to their scope. This took great courage and hard work, and required that lots of money be raised. Just days ago the judge for the case ruled that the Board of Physical Therapy overstepped their authority and ruled against their ability to add ‘dry needling’. The judge ALSO ruled that ‘dry needling’ IS acupuncture. This is huge. And this is all extra special because too often acupuncturists do not adequately or consistently enough step forward and donate the kind of money these issues and battles require. This topic is likely not done here in Florida, but the good news is that it has stirred us up and unified us.
Going in to my 22nd year of being licensed and practicing, I have seen and learned and experienced many things. All the way from the days when acupuncturists were arrested for practicing, to having patients of mine tell me that their doctors told them not to do acupuncture. I have seen the amount of licensees in Florida triple and the myths and misconceptions of acupuncture fade away. It is an exciting time for us all and the future will only bring more.
It is a delight to be a webinar presenter for TCMzone. TCMzone has recorded versions of webinars we have done in the past, available for earning CEUs and NCCAOM PDA’s, including the required topics of Ethics and Safety, including Herbal Safety.
Medicine is the only profession I ever considered. I earned my medical degree from Beijing University of Chinese Medicine in 1987 and then my Masters of Science in Integrated Clinical Medicine. I have always believed that every patient deserves personalized treatment and so this is how I conduct my practice. Based on the individual conditions, I design a treatment plan specific to each person using acupuncture, herbal treatments, dietary recommendations, and lifestyle counseling. In order to customize my herbal treatments I find using TCMzone granule packets to be the absolute best methodology for a safe, effective, and simple plan.
First, the granule packets are safe for my patients. Not only are the TCMzone granules manufactured at GMP facilities and tested for quality assurance before packaged. The packets themselves offer a sense of confidence to my patients when they open them for the first time at home. Each dose comes sealed and labeled with lot number, name and amount, adding to higher patient compliance.
Second, the TCMzone granule packets are effective. This comes down to manufacturing and quality standards. However, the TCMzone packets in both single herbs and formulas also allow me, as the practitioner, to customize my herbal protocols for each patient condition. I can modify a granule packet formula by adding sealed single herbs to the protocol or I can build my own herbal formula using the single herb packets to address specific conditions.
Finally, the granule packets are convenient. They are simple in packaging for my patients to use. They are easy to open and pour into water to make their daily tea, drinking half in the a.m and remainder in the evening. They are also easy for my patients to travel with and to carry. They can keep the granule packets in their purse, luggage, pockets and take during their travels or work day. This dosage form offers my patients convenience, which is essential when taking Chinese herbs.