TCM: Alternative without cash

Traditional Chinese medicine sees man as a holistic unity of body, mind and soul. Their methods are also increasingly being used by us.


"TCM is always about discovering and treating the cause of a disease. In traditional Chinese medicine, in contrast to conventional medicine, it is not "repaired" - instead, self-healing powers are strengthened and activated. "

In a quiet corner of the Stuwerviertel in Vienna's Leopoldstadt, Dr. Ing. Claudia Radbauer her practice. "Life in balance. Maintain health, heal holistically. "Is the motto of the General Practitioner and Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). "Most patients come to me because of Chinese medicine," says Radbauer. "However, many bring their conventional medical findings." Because Western medicine has its limits, as the doctor will explain in the course of the conversation.

Where TCM helps

A TCM treatment begins with an initial interview to make a diagnosis. "For this, the tongue is looked at and the pulse is palpated." This is especially important for recurring clinical pictures such as headaches. "For chronic, long-lasting headaches, I recommend a medical examination," explains Radbauer. "A neurological control or a cervical examination can provide clarity." Since headaches or migraines are often accompanied by strong tensions, the tuina massage combined with acupuncture can bring good results; Hormonal headaches are also helped by herbs and acupuncture. "Since I'm also a trained nutritionist, many patients with digestive discomfort come to me," adds Radbauer. "Especially in the diagnosis of irritable bowel can often no longer be helped conventional medicine." Here, the 5-elements diet is suitable, as well as the intake of Chinese herbs. Acupuncture, one of the most widely used methods of Chinese medicine, can help with sleep disorders as well as musculoskeletal pain.

The Moxa therapy (see box) works well, especially Radbauer for pain in the lower back. Radbauer, who also has coaching training, works with a psychotherapist for patients suffering from stress and the threat of burn-out. "We've already managed to avert a burn-out in some patients." In TCM, it was always about "to discover and treat the cause of a disease."

Complementary methods

The basic idea of ​​Chinese medicine is health care or prevention. "That's also what I see as my main task," explains Radbauer, who loves to combine TCM with conventional medical methods. A combination of western nutritional medicine and the 5 elements diet is optimal. "I've already had the case that patients got sick because they had a protein deficiency." To pass on their knowledge, the nutritionist offers cooking events.

Radbauer also regards TCM as a complementary treatment method in other areas: "Especially in intensive care and surgical medicine, conventional medicine has made great progress and can make a difference here. There are also diseases that can be better treated by conventional medicine than with TCM, such as Crohn's disease (chronic intestinal inflammation, note). "In many skin diseases, however, there are in TCM alternatives to the often prescribed cortisone, such as herpes. Even in China, western and domestic treatment methods are combined, as Radbauer himself experienced. "There are traditional medical clinics and centers of Chinese medicine. Many TCM doctors work in the mornings in the TCM clinics and go in the afternoon in a conventional medical hospital to contribute their knowledge. "Stroke patients could be treated in addition to western methods with herbs and acupuncture - with good results.

TCM - The recognition is growing

Radbauer is of the opinion that Chinese medicine is increasingly being recognized in conventional medical circles. "Many medical students today also have a complementary medical education and many Western-trained physicians also deal with TCM." Radbauer attributed the growing recognition also to increased media coverage of this form of medicine. Again and again, the doctor gets patients - for example, with skin diseases or urological diseases - sent by orthodox medical doctors, who are at their wit's end. More and more often from ambulances. The doctor advocates a balanced lifestyle and is convinced that proper nutrition is essential for maintaining good health. "In addition, there are regular exercise, compensation for everyday work and a good time management," said the doctor. "Especially in today's fast paced world, we should pay more attention to our health."

TCM VS. Conventional medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic medicine that has evolved from observation and experience over the last thousand years. It sees man as a unity of body and mind that interacts with and is influenced by the environment. Disease-causing causes here are not viruses and bacteria, but cold, wind or moisture. There are parallels to Ayuerveda or the medicine of Hildegard von Bingen.
In western medicine, the human structure is split, the organs are in the foreground. By contrast, TCM focuses on the functions of the human body: in sleep disorders, for example, the heart is responsible for falling asleep and the liver for staying asleep.
In traditional Chinese medicine, in contrast to traditional medicine, "repair" is not achieved - instead, self-healing powers are strengthened and activated. The philosophy of TCM can be summarized in one sentence: "A person is healthy when he lives in harmony with himself and the surrounding nature."
Consequently, illness is nothing more than a disharmony, a physical-mental imbalance. TCM is designed to restore balance in humans as well as between humans and nature. So Chinese medicine treats sick people while conventional medicine treats the disease.

TCM Basics
There are five pillars of treatment: Acupuncture, Herbal Treatment, 5 Elements Nutrition, Tuina Massage, Qi Gong and Tai Qi. Further treatment methods include moxa therapy and cupping (eg in the case of infections or tension).
The symptoms and symptoms associated with the five elements signal to the TCM physician which of the five functional circuits is disturbed and where the causes may be.
Water: winter, kidney, black, fear, salty, cold
Fire: summer, heart, red, joy, bitter, heat
Wood: spring, liver, green, anger, sour, wind
Metal: autumn, lungs, white, sadness, dryness
Earth: late summer (or the middle of the seasons), spleen, yellow, pondering, moisture
The basic principle of TCM is the yin and yang: the yin stands for blood and juices in the body, the yang for the energy, a balanced balance is important.
The Qi flows through the meridians, the energy channels, pain means Qi stagnation. The emotions play a big role and are assigned to the individual elements, comparable to psychosomatic medicine in Western medicine.
In Europe, acupuncture is often used in the case of disorders and musculoskeletal pain, and the health insurance companies cover the costs partly or even completely. The prerequisite is, however, that the treatment takes place at a doctor who has an acupuncture diploma from the Austrian Medical Association.

Photo / Video: Shutterstock.

Written by Susanne Wolf

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