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Introducing traditional Chinese medicine into Western health care

October 23, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.

If Tom Cruise made a movie with Jackie Chan, we'd vote for calling it "Mission Possible." When the remarkable abilities of the West and the East are combined, it makes for a powerful duo that can vanquish whatever's causing big trouble -- especially when it comes to your health and wellbeing.

The commitment to bring the life-enhancing combination of Western and traditional Chinese medicine to as many of you as possible has led Dr. Oz to join forces with Dr. Anlong Xu, president of the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medical Sciences. Their new book "Yin Yang You" takes you into the sometimes mysterious-seeming world of TCM and offers practical insights and tips that will widen your horizons and improve your health.

So, let's take a quick trip into TCM and discover what it can do for you -- on its own and in combination with Western medicine. After all, this is not about either-or. It's about with. That's the balance that yin/yang is all about.

Is TCM up to date? Although TCM is founded on centuries (heck, a millennia) of ancient insights, the therapies are not outdated. TCM remedies and techniques often provide straightforward solutions to 21st-century health challenges such as fatigue, GI troubles, depression/anxiety, glucose imbalance, sleep disorders, obesity and cardiovascular problems. TCM also addresses quality-of-life issues, such as pain management, achieving holistic balance and longevity. Take the TCM practice of acupuncture and acupressure, for example. Stimulating targeted points with acu-needles along meridians where your life energy (qi) flows -- or gets stuck -- can improve many health issues. You can even use TCM pressure points at home to ease headaches and anxiety.

Why does Western medicine benefit from joining forces with TCM? Western medicine has given us incredible advances in everything from diagnostic machines to antibiotics, cutting-edge research and wow-oh-wow possibilities for extending longevity. We live longer and better because of these modern innovations. Yet Western medicine is often better at treating illness than preventing it. Case in point: A recent Harris Poll found that only 17% of Americans say they're in excellent health. But that could change dramatically if people integrated East and West into their quest for a positive quality of life.

Should you try TCM?

1. Yes, if you want to prevent poor health and avoid common chronic diseases and disorders -- and the Western treatments for them. TCM is especially beneficial if you're at high risk for an inheritable disorder, are living in an area with industrial pollution, have a sedentary lifestyle or eat a diet crammed with ultraprocessed and fast food. It offers a combination of upgraded lifestyle choices in nutrition and physical activity, along with ways to change your outlook by using treatments that affect your mind, emotions and balance.

2. Yes, if you have a "gray" symptom. Do you feel off balance and a bit worried about your health but are unsure of what's going on? If you have symptoms that make you feel "not quite right," TCM is worth a look.

3. Yes, if Western medicine isn't working as well as you hoped. TCM can address very tangible and acute issues, whether you have a rash, a headache or high blood pressure.

4. Yes, if you have a DIY philosophy about health care. While you need Western medical professionals for many treatments -- from lifesaving stents to cancer treatments and surgery -- there's a lot you can and should do on your own to reclaim or maintain your health. TCM offers many opportunities for you to do so, using herbal remedies and physical treatments.

If these concepts have piqued your curiosity about TCM and you'd like to learn more about it, check out a copy of "Yin Yang You, Biohacking with Ancient Codes." You can try its do-at-home remedies and recipes and gain an understanding of what going to a TCM practitioner can do for you. Then improved health and wellbeing will become your mission possible!

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit sharecare.com.

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D.

and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

Print Headline: Introducing traditional Chinese medicine into Western health care

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