Return to Spring:About

From Return to Spring: Everything your acupuncturist is too busy to tell you!
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This site exists for a very simple reason. To help patients, potential patients, and the plain-old curious have a clearer idea what kinds of ideas bounce around inside the heads of acupuncturists, herbalists, tui-na massage therapists, and other traditional Chinese medicine healthcare providers.

We're also here to provide you and yours with insights into health and lifestyle advice that has been used to positive effect in China and other Asian countries for millenia.

You might have noticed that there's a lot of discussion in here.

Like, a lot.

That's because traditional Chinese medicine contains so much knowledge that it can be confusing.

Never forget the power of a smile—the fastest way to return to spring!

Not just sorta confusing.

Really confusing.

This is because traditional Chinese medicine has a worldview and a language unto itself. So when people who need Chinese medicine (patients) try to talk to the people who practice TCM (acupuncturists, herbalists, massage therapists, and so on), it often feels like they’re listening to a Trekkie deliver a lecture on Klingon marriage customs, or a sports fanatic wax statistic about the seductive intricacies of fantasy football.

Except, at least most of us at least know what Star Trek and the gridiron are more or less all about.

But Chinese medicine?

Neither John Madden nor Lieutenant Worf could prepare you for your TCM’s weird vocabulary, where things begin at yin and yang and then get progressively stranger the longer your doctor keeps talking.

However, no matter how strange its unique vocabulary might sound, one thing is undeniable: Chinese medicine can be very, very effective. Over the course of thousands of years it has helped countless millions of people with everything from small aches and pains to terminal illnesses.

Traditional Chinese medicine can help you, too, no matter how foreign and bizarre its ideas might seem at first glance. We're here to help you understand TCM's terminology and ideas, so that you can better communicate with your healthcare provider as well as benefit from the wealth of Chinese medicine knowledge that's already been published in English. It is the goal of this site to make sure that communication will not be an obstacle that prevents anybody from getting the medical care Chinese medicine and its related disciplines can offer.

It’s not an easy job to try and talk about Chinese medicine in plain English, but hopefully the articles here will help patients, family members, and the curious to better understand the things that there simply isn’t time for your TCM practitioner to explain in detail in the clinic. Paying good money to endure being punctured with needles or gulp down bitter herb decoctions is already a pretty far-out proposition for a lot of people. When a doctor starts using very foreign-sounding ideas to explain his or her diagnosis and protocols, well, it can be easy to start wondering if all this isn’t just a little bit… weird?

If you find TCM’s ideas rather incomprehensible, then you have an idea of what students in TCM colleges and universities struggle through—it ain’t easy for them, either! The body of knowledge in Chinese medicine is vast, but if you have the time to do a bit of reading, you can get a pretty good general idea of what TCM’s all about without signing up for four years of acupuncture school.

The information in this site is designed to cover all the terms a Chinese medicine practitioner might need to share with you to discuss diagnosis and treatment, and share the priceless knowledge that millions of everyday Chinese people use to take care of their own and their family members’ health.

May it be of benefit to all who read these pages!