Are acupuncture and Oriental medicine the same thing?
Yes and no. ‘Acupuncture’ is the medical science of regulating a person’s energy systems by stimulating points on the body with tiny needles. As such is only one part of the Chinese medical system. It is often used, however, to refer to the whole of the medical system. Sometimes, it’s easier just to use the shorthand term, rather than the whole list of things I do (in the same way that pants might be used to refer to jeans, slacks, or even underwear). So, for example, my ‘Acupuncture’ license also permits me to do Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional counseling, massage, gua sha, cupping, and moxa, among other things, all of which are part of the system of traditional or classical Chinese medicine (see the page on treatment modalities for more information about each of these approaches). ‘Oriental medicine,’ ‘Traditional Chinese Medicine,’ and ‘Classical Chinese Medicine’ are phrases more often used when someone wants specifically to include herbal medicine in the mix.