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Arizona Research Institute of Acupuncture and

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Mission


Arizona Research Institute of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine is a 503c3 non-profit organization. Our mission is to educate, support research and serve the community with Traditional Chinese herbal medicine and Acupuncture (TCM).


Vision

 

To prove the effectiveness of TCM in treating disease and reduce illness and disability.

Mission


The Arizona Research Institute of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine will use Traditional Chinese Medicine to educate patients and the community at large about the importance of research for alternative medicine.


Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners use herbal medicine and various mind and body practices, such as acupuncture, to treat and prevent a wide range of health problems.


•Chinese Herbal Medicine: As described by the Chinese Materia Medica (a pharmacological reference book used by TCM practitioners) herbal medicine is comprised by thousands of medicinal substances—primarily plants, but also some minerals and animal products. Herbal medicine also uses different parts of plants, such as the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds. In TCM, herbs are often combined in formulas and given as teas, capsules, liquid extracts, granules, or powders.


•Acupuncture: This method of treatment involves stimulation of specific points on the body using a variety of techniques with a needle. The acupuncture technique that has been most often studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metal needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation. Traditional Chinese Medicine is rooted in the ancient philosophy and dates back more than 2,500 years. Traditional systems of medicine also exist in other East and South Asian countries, including Japan (where the traditional herbal medicine is called Kampo) and Korea. Some of these systems have been influenced by Traditional Chinese Medicine and are similar to it in some ways, but each has developed distinctive features of its own.


When thinking about ancient medical systems such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is important to separate questions about traditional theories and concepts of health and wellness from questions about whether specific interventions might be helpful in the context of modern science-based medicine and health promotion practices.


The ancient beliefs on which Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on the following:


•The human body is a miniature version of the larger, surrounding universe.


•Harmony between two opposing yet complementary forces, called yin and yang, supports health, and disease results from an imbalance between these forces.


•Five elements—fire, earth, wood, metal, and water—symbolically represent all phenomena, including the stages of human life, and explain the functioning of the body and how it changes during disease.


•Qi, a vital energy that flows through the body, performs multiple functions in maintaining health.


Concepts such as these are of interest in understanding the history of Traditional Chinese Medicine. However, the Arizona Research Institute of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine does not focus on these ideas. Instead, the organization examines specific Traditional Chinese Medicine practices from a scientific perspective, looking at their effects in the body and whether the practices are helpful in symptom management.


In spite of the widespread use of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China and its use in the West, rigorous scientific evidence of its effectiveness is limited. Traditional Chinese Medicine can be difficult for researchers to study because its treatments are often complex and are based on ideas very different from those of modern Western medicine. The Arizona Research Institute of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine will bridge that gap and be a leader in research in the area of Traditional Chinese Medicine by putting common acupuncture treatments through a scientifically rigorous test to determine their efficacy.