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A View from the East: Toward understanding Chinese medicine and its ability to improve the treatment of people with HIV infection

By: Dr. Misha Ruth Cohen, OMD, L.Ac.

To use Chinese medicine you don't have to understand its underlying philosophy or principles. You can take the herbs, receive acupuncture and try other therapies much as you would take a pill"Western style"and you will still reap considerable benefits.

But a curious thing happens when you use Chinese medicine: Its transforming power insinuates itself into your unconscious as the treatments strengthen your mind/body/spirit. You find, despite your lack of understanding of how it works or what it can do, that repeated exposure to the basic treatments"herbs, acupuncture, dietary therapy and Qi Gong exercise and meditation"changes you in subtle but far-reaching ways. You become more tuned into your physical and spiritual self. You become aware of the profound impact of your breath on your physical and mental well-being; you begin to sense the flow of Qi "the life force"through your body; you tune into your own mental and physical strengths and imbalances; you learn to rejoice in the interconnectedness of all life experience.
This transformation creates a sense of empowerment that's particularly important in dealing with a chronic disorder such as HIV disease, which can erode your sense of control over your own body and make you feel estranged from your physical and spiritual self.

Putting yourself within the Eastern frame of mind will help you maximize the effectiveness of Western treatments (and lessen the negative side-effects). You'll also be better able to manage HIV-associated disorders and diseases, such as sinusitis and chronic diarrhea, which often resist Western treatments. So I hope you'll take the time to explore a little bit about the inner workings of Chinese medicine. It can bring a great deal of joy and healing into your life.

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Copyright 2006 - All rights reserved.

This article is protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of
Dr. Misha Ruth Cohen, OMD, L.Ac. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

About the Author

Dr. Misha Ruth Cohen, OMD, L.Ac., has over 25 years experience in the practice of Asian medicine--including acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition and diet, and Asian bodywork.
Misha is the author of three books: The Chinese Way to Healing: Many Paths to Wholeness; The HIV Wellness Sourcebook: and The Hepatitis C Helpbook. She is internationally known as a practitioner, teacher, and mentor to Chinese medicine practitioners around the world.

Today, Cohen has developed great expertise in the area of gynecology and is considered one of the pioneers of utilizing Chinese medicine to help treat HIV and AIDS.

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