West Meets East
Taochemy and Almeda are sister companies, working in harmony. We’re lifestyle brands, bringing harmony through the synergies in Eastern and Western medicine.
Almeda’s founder, Stacy, is a nurse who has long worked in Kansas City, Missouri, at the literal crossroads of the United States and the North American continent. Yet she has also performed acupuncture throughout the country, sharing wisdom from Traditional Chinese Medicine and nutritional knowledge related to Ayurvedic medical practices of India. Co-founder Kylie also embraces Eastern medical philosophies and practices.
Stacy has said, “You hear the term ‘East meets West’ often. Well, we’re ‘West meets East.’” She added, “We are, in a way, Westernizing the best of Eastern medicine. We don’t want to lose all that is great about our Western Medical system.”
Alternative care is on the rise
It’s certain that “alternative” approaches to health care are on the rise in the United States today, with some 35-40% of the population now enjoying these methods of care. Almeda has embraced that trend toward holistic care.
We’ve witnessed this increase in people using yoga, meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic, and other methods for both prevention and care. These practices help us reach toward optimal health and invite wellness into our lives on a daily basis.
Western and Eastern approaches to medicine are complementary
Western Medicine is a system of clinical care based on modern scientific principles--where hypotheses are tested and peer-reviewed extensively. It’s evidence-based medicine where physicians decide how to treat patients based on controlled, scientific studies.
The National Cancer Institute provides this definition of Western Medicine:
"A system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. Also called allopathic medicine, biomedicine, conventional medicine, mainstream medicine, and orthodox medicine."
While Western medicine focuses primarily on systematic diagnosis and treatment of disease, Eastern medicine examines a patient's symptoms and provides an individual diagnosis of the Qi (or chi) dynamic of the patient. Qi includes the subtle energetic field that one can sense surrounding the body, also known as the etheric body.
Eastern medicine includes Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. Traditional Chinese Medicine is an ancient codified system of medicine -- the oldest in the world. Ancient Chinese scholars connected what they saw in the cosmos with the human organism, or body, and used them to explain health and disease. Central concepts include yin and yang as well as elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each person, each body, is seen as unique and no two illnesses alike, so healing strategies are tailored to the unique case at hand. Eastern doctors may ask questions, look, listen, smell, and scan their patients for Qi.
Five major branches of Eastern Medicine are:
- Chinese herbal medicine
- Nutrition (dietary therapy)
- Tuina (bodywork such as massage and acupressure)
- Tai chi and qi gong (mind-body-spirit practice)
Ayurvedic medicine is another one of the oldest holistic healing systems, developed more than 3,000 years ago in India. Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu system of medicine was founded on a belief that health and wellness require a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. The main goal of Ayurveda is to promote health rather than fight disease.
With different thoughts, beliefs, traditions, and approaches, Eastern medicine practitioners and Western medicine practitioners differ in their understanding of the causes and treatments of illness. Many wellness seekers are now blending in the best of multiple systems of care into their daily routines.
Here’s how all of these practices fit well within the Almeda lifestyle.
Acupuncture to detox, de-stress, and heal
Acupuncture was devised before 2500 BCE in China to treat pain, cure disease, and improve general health. Today it's used more and more often for overall wellness and stress management as well. At Taochemy, we offer the 5-point NADA protocol for detoxification based on a system developed in New York City in the 1970s.
Herbal remedies as foundational support
The practice of using plants, clays, and soils as healing agents is ancient. Knowledge of Chinese herbal medicine has informed our work in many ways. Kasvi shares ingredients from the best of the herbal remedy toolkit -- we’ve collected various ingredients from trusted sources to hat align with many general needs today. Kasvi features superfoods and adaptogens, mushrooms, probiotics, and other healing herbs.
Nutrition from food that’s Local, Seasonal, and Fresh
“Food as medicine” seems to be a universal concept. It’s present in both the Eastern TCM and Ayurvedic traditions as well as in Western culture, such as the Greek “father of medicine,” Hippocrates, in the 5th Century BCE. While “Ayurveda” as a term from India seems quite exoctic, it’s actually about eating local foods that are fresh and in season. The Ayruvedic diet is quite simple. It’s about eating what’s endemic -- natural and characteristic of a specific place. In other words, eating indigenous foods. As Stacy says, “Eat local, seasonal, and fresh. That's Ayurveda.”
Bodywork provides a healing touch
We highly recommend massage, acupressure, and other forms of bodywork. Both Eastern and Western civilizations have long relied on massage to help support the body as it works to heal itself, reduce stress, and promote relaxation.
Mind-body-spirit practices help connect the dots
Mind-body-spirit techniques help address imbalances between sympathetic (fight-or-flight) and parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) branches of the Autonomic Nervous System. Rich and robust scientific literature now supports these more mysterious approaches to health and healing.
Eastern medicine practitioners seek to treat the whole person. They encourage a healthy body to prevent illness and expedite recovery.
Western Medicine has developed excellent diagnostic tools, sick care strategies, and a dogged commitment to evidence. Even hospitals today are introducing mind-body centers that support more holistic healing. Combining the best of Eastern and Western approaches can serve everyone better.