I recently went to India to attend my daughter’s wedding. It was a spectacular 3 day affair, filled with colorful costumes, jewelry, loud music, dancing and great varieties of food. This was my 7th trip to India since my daughter has been living there and I often reflect on the contrasts between Indian culture and life and our way of life and values. As a long-time holistic health and wellness practitioner I’m well aware of the deep and long tradition of yoga, meditation, ayurveda, homeopathy, vegetarianism and other natural practices. I can also compare these traditions in their contemporary form to my experiences and knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, herbal medicine, Tai Qi, Taoist meditation, Qi Gong and reflect on my travels and months of living and studying in China. Holistic health and wellness in the USA by comparison is relatively new as befits a young country and culture. As India and China have slowly moved towards a western style economy and health-care systems, we in the U.S. have vigorously embraced the traditional, natural and holistic wisdoms of South Asia and the Far East. In virtually every city and town in the U.S. there are acupuncturists, homeopathic and naturopathic practitioners, yoga studios, and natural food stores that have great varieties of natural herbs and supplements available. Asian medicines such as ginseng, turmeric, cinnamon, ashwaganda, basil, cumin, dang gui, schizandra and many others are now readily available, even in conventional pharmacies. Many hospitals, doctor’s offices, pain clinics and other conventional medical establishments offer acupuncture, massage, meditation, tai qi and other Asian therapies.
The mind-body connection which has for so long been an essential principle of Eastern healing cultivation and practice has slowly infiltrated the U.S. medical, corporate and educational establishment. As with Asian healing practices, contemporary research in this country and Europe has shown unequivocally that mindfulness training and practice greatly enhances wellness, performance and health outcomes. Virtually every hospital in the U.S. now offers meditation and mindfulness approaches for patients suffering from acute pain or chronic disease. Most health practitioners, as well as professionals in education, law enforcement, finance and other careers now take advantage of employer-sponsored mindfulness training. This development is directly linked to our growing appreciation and understanding of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and other wisdom traditions from Asia.
At the Acupuncture Center of New Jersey we integrate several of these healing traditions and practices and bring them into context with our understanding of our patient’s health concerns and experiences with conventional medicine. Therefore it is not theoretical but based on real-life and wellness issues that impact all our lives. For example a patient with chronic headaches who has received a diagnosis of Lyme disease may be treated with acupuncture, chinese herbs, nutraceutics or phytotherapy, homeopathy, macrobiotic diet, Ayurveda diet and aroma therapy. She will slowly reduce then discontinue her need for harsh pain medications, alter and improve her diet, begin a regular exercise program, learn to meditate and do yoga daily. With our guidance she can create a new pathway that takes the best of Eastern and Western natural healing methods to achieve optimal wellness.
Post by our founding practitioner- Peter Kadar, L. Ac., D.O.M.
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