Questions & Answers
What is Oriental Medicine?

Oriental medicine is a form of natural medicine that has been practiced in China for thousands
of years.  It is based on the observation of nature and it's cycles; that which is found in
nature is also found in humans. Treating illnesses with herbs is part of Oriental medical
practice.  Oriental medicine functions in accordance with the laws of nature and treats
according to the laws of nature.  It's function and purpose is to return the person to health
and balance in body, mind, spirit, and emotion.  EVERYTHING is connected!  One cannot treat
the body without also affecting the mind or emotions.

Oriental Medicine is about Energy.  Everything known in creation is made of energy.  When a
person is ill, there is usually either too much energy or not enough energy in one or more of
the internal organs.  Oriental medicine creates balance through the use of acupuncture,
herbal medicine, Qi Gong, Tui Na, and other modalities.

The great majority of those who practice Oriental medicine/acupuncture in the US are certified
by NCCAOM, the nationally certifying agency for this profession.  It means the OM practitioner
has to take the NCCAOM board exams to show proficiency in this profession.

What is Acupuncture and how does it work?

There are 14 energetic pathways in the body called meridians.  Along these meridians are
many points of healing that can be stimulated.  When illness occurs, there is usually an organ
that has lost it's energy or is stuck and just not working properly. When we insert a small,
sterile needle into one of the healing points, an electrical message is sent through the
energetic pathway to the malfunctioning organ in order to stimulated its healing.

Does it hurt?

No.  The needles are hair thin, and most insertions are superficial.  Even people who are
afraid of needles are surprised that the needles are already in and they never felt it.

Can science prove that meridians exist?

As of this writing, no.  However, compared to the 6,000 year history of Oriental medicine,
science is in its infancy and does not yet have the tools to validate what the ancients knew.  
Just because it has not yet been proven does not mean it does not exist.  Energy cannot be
seen as one sees a solid object, but we all feel when we have energy to spare and when we
are dragging.  Life is all about energy and movement.  The acupuncture points and it's
meridians are most likely part of the nerve structure of the human body.  However, some
practitioners might argue this point.  

What is Qi Gong?

Qi means Vital Energy and Gong means exercise or movement.  This is an important concept in
Oriental medicine:  in order for life to exist, there must be energy and it must move.  Blood
needs movement to circulate throughout the body.  Without the energy to move blood
effectively, there exists serious health risk.

Qi Gong is also an exercise that can be done daily to gather energy for oneself or to send
energy to another person.  To be an effective acupuncture physician, the practitioner must be
well trained in Qi Gong.  This means well trained in gathering and moving the energy through
the needles or through massage to the patient in order to return him or her to health.

What is "Curandera"?

"Curandera" literally translates as 'one who heals'.  It is an ancient tradition.  Westerners call
a Curandero a Shaman.  Not all Curanderas have the same skills or abilities.  Some are
trained, some are born hereditary healers, and some are both.  Ideally, a Curandero has
herbal knowledge. They can also use massage, can midwife should a need arise, can use
words as a spiritual/medical treatment and 'speak' out physical, mental, emotional or spiritual
disease or illness. They can even take the disease from the body to an object in the natural
world.  Finally, a Curandera is a person who sees the other dimensions of reality or the spirit
world and cleans the patient of any auric or spiritual imbalance.

What is "Art as Medicine"?

Art as medicine is any art form used to express ones journey into healing,  drawing from the
unconscious self a statement or experience that helps them bring about health.  It can also
be a shamanic expression of inner journeying, guided by the instructor.  Lastly, it can be a fun
experience of self expressive art because enjoyment is a strong healing agent.

What is Integrative Pastoral Medicine?

Integrative Pastoral medicine is a modern adaptation of the ancient Christian art of
ministering to the sick using the natural world and the concept of hygiene through vitamins,
minerals, herbs, nutrition, and modern methods of diagnosis.  Pastoral medicine is an
ecclesiastical medical ministry in which individuals are licensed as doctors of natural medicine
by its ecclesiastical board.  FIHM is state licensed and does not offer Integrative Pastoral
medicine as part of it's state licensed structure.  Integrative Pastoral Medicine service is
offered through it's own ecclesiastical office. For further questions or for more information,
please call our office.