East Meets West with the Tom Tam Method
In my previous blog, An Integrative Brain Injury Treatment Approach, I presented to you my 5 Prong Approach, along with the various Brain Health Experts that make up my integrative team. In that blog, I explained how I would be presenting more in-depth information about each team member and the services they offer. Once again, I want to note that each member has their own private practice and yet we work as a unified team, who see each patient and client as a unique person. Together, using my 5 Prong Approach, we provide each person we treat with a customized program specifically to overcome their unique symptoms. Our customized program is similar to you going to a clothier and having a suit or dress being made for your specific measurement, rather than buying a dress and having to altered to fit you.
I first met Tom Tam over 27 years ago, soon after my own brain injury. Tom Tam is a Chinese healer skilled at acupuncture and acupressure who is also a well-respected QiGong Master. However, he is most recognized for his Tong Ren energy healing method he developed, which is a based on the belief that health can be restored by healing a patient’s energy system.
His work, methods, and research have grown over the years. Also, he has worldwide locations. In 2009, I was visiting my son and daughter-in-law in China, where they were teaching English, when I came across a Tom Tam Tong Ren center near where they worked. Over the years, I have referred many of my patients with various brain injuries, such as Locked-In Syndrome, Stroke, movement disorders, such as myoclonic jerking, Parkinson Disease, MS and Cancer to Tom Tam.
What is Tom Tam’s Healing System?
Tom Tam’s healing system is based on East meets West. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on the Huatuojiaji, which translate as “to treat the spinal cord.” The basic practice is similar to the methods that our chiropractor, Dr. Paul Schoonman uses. Dr. Schoonman will be writing about what he does and his philosophy in an upcoming blog. Tom Tam has taken the Huatuojiaji system, along with acupuncture points or energy source points, Western anatomy and the chiropractic system and combined them to develop his healing system. Tom Tam explains, “The West has a very good understanding of the body’s anatomy, pathology and physiology. They understand the physical aspects of the body, but they do not understand the energy. They lack the knowledge of the body’s energy and the experience of treatment. This is the reason the West has a hard time understanding many diseases. For example, laboratory research focuses on chemical reactions and cell division. The East has a very good understanding of the energy in the body and much experience in treatment, but they do not understand much about anatomy and physiology. In traditional Chinese medicine, the doctors never needed to learn anatomy and physiology; they learned the meridians and energy points, and still did a good job healing. Through autopsies, the Chinese were able to see inside the body and discover that their amazing concepts were based on fact. I believe that in the future, medicine must combine Eastern and Western knowledge. In fact, in China they are beginning to combine these two healing systems. The traditional and holistic combined will be the best possible treatment system.” Chinese Medicine works with herbs and acupuncture or energy points. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) works with the body’s energy system (Chi or also called Qi). TCM focuses on balance of the Chi throughout the body, and harmony of the Yin (negative) and Yang (positive) in balancing the body energy systems.
Tom wrote in his book, Tom Tam Healing System (2007), “A proper balance of Yin and Yang is vital to good health. When this balance is upset there are many ways to balance the Chi. The most important way to create balance is by diet. In Chinese philosophy, it is believed many diseases are caused from consumption of food.”
I personally have known that even if the imbalance has been caused by a specific injury or trauma to the brain or body, what you eat has an enormous effect on regaining your life again and bringing harmony to the body system. This is why since 1979, my practice has always had a nutrition educator as part of our integrative team. Currently, we have Martha Lindsay. In the coming blogs you will learn more about Martha Lindsay, and the other integrative team members, and their specific and unique services. In the Tom Tam Healing System, Tom focuses on both the structure and workings of the body along with the energy system. In both Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine systems, there is a focus on blockages and what causes symptoms and diseases. As part of these two systems there is acupuncture, Tui Na and Chi Gong.
Acupuncture- Tom Tam
As part of Tom Tam Healing System, Tom uses traditional acupuncture along with his own method. An acupuncturist will first do an evaluation of the patient to gain an understanding of their symptoms. This is necessary to figure out which areas should be focused on during the acupuncture session. The evaluation may include questions and answers, pulse-taking, abdominal palpation, and an examination of the tongue, skin color, and body odor. Based on the results of the evaluation, a treatment plan is devised involving the head and scalp, ears, or other parts of the body. After the evaluation, the acupuncturist will insert incredibly fine needles just below the surface of the skin at specific points on the body that correspond to the pain’s location. For example, a needle in the right pinky toe will help alleviate pressure experienced around the left eye – a common symptom of cluster headaches. The needles stay in the skin for approximately half an hour, and then the acupuncturist will remove them.
Tom discovered, based on Jungian Psychology, (collective unconscious) and Chi Gong, that you don’t necessarily have to put needles into the body. From this understanding, Tom developed, Ton Ren healing. Rather, what he discovered was that you can tap with an energized hammer on an acupuncture doll and a person can have the same effects as putting in the needles in those locations to release the blockage.
Tui Na is a form of bodily massage that is designed to release blockage in the body. Tui Na (also called An mo) is the oldest known system of massage and physical therapy in the world. Originating in China 15,000 years ago, the oldest record of medical massage for trauma was carved on turtle shells. In the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine (the first comprehensive treaty of Chinese medicine) from 230 B.C., Tui Na was described as one of the five major therapies of the time. Tui Na has remained an organized and systematically developed form of massage and physical therapy since that time. Currently in China, Tui Na is taught as a separate but equal field of study in the major traditional Chinese medical schools. Tui Na doctors receive the same demanding training as acupuncturists and herbalists, and enjoy the same level of professional respect.
Chi Gong (Qi Gong)
The two words, chi and gong (or some places kong) mean cultivating energy. Chi Gong is a system practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality.
Using the knowledge of the spinal cord, Tom has combined the various methods above along with specific locations on the spinal cord, such as cervical 1 (C1), cervical 5, and cervical 7. From these combined methods, Tom has helped thousands of people worldwide from a wide variety of issues.
My Return to Tom Tam for Help!
Last April after I was diagnosed with one of rarest forms of lymphoma, I went back to see Tom, only to discover that he now has a limited practice. I was told that his daughter, Yvonne Tam has taken over his practice. This is when I met Yvonne Tam. As mentioned above, I have asked each of the various Brain Health Team members to introduce themselves to you and have them provide you with a better understanding of what they do as part of our Brain Health Integrative Team. I would now like to introduce you to Yvonne Tam, who is part of our integrative team of Brain Health Experts.
Hello! My name is Yvonne Tam and I am a licensed acupuncturist who is part of the Tam Healing Center and Tong Ren Healing Classes. Tong Ren is a healing modality that was developed by my father, Tom Tam, who has been working as a healer and inventor for 35 years. Tong Ren consists of the practitioner using a hammer to tap on points on an acupuncture doll, which represents and energetically conveys the signal of opening and dissolving blockages on the patient. We use Tong Ren as a remote healing method that can be performed in person or over long distances. It is a powerful, effective, and revolutionary healing method that has zero side effects, as there are no medications or physical touch involved.
While Tong Ren is a hands off approach at healing, I also practice acupuncture and tui na massage, which is very hands on. All of these combined make a very powerful healing toolbox for my practice, which is where I met Dr. Diane. Dr. Diane has been coming to the healing center for treatments with my father for years now and with him retired, I was passed the baton and the responsibility to care for all the lovely people, including Dr. Diane.
Throughout the years of growing up in a healing family and healing environment, I have absorbed invaluable information and have seen a countless number of miracles performed as if they were daily occurrences. Among illnesses, simple to severe, we have had many, many sufferers of brain injuries walk through our doors. I, along with my fellow Tong Ren practitioners, have successfully treated patients with devastating dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, brain tumors, and anything and everything. We have had dementia patients who completely shut down, without a trace of who they or their families are. After treatments of Tong Ren and acupuncture, they completely and fully regained speech, cognitive function, and their former self.
I have treated a countless number of people with a wide range of illnesses. Among them, doctors seem to have given up hope on those who suffer from brain injuries, thinking that there’s no hope or no turning back from something so traumatic. That is simply not the case. If we promote more blood flow and circulation to the brain by opening up the blockages on the neck, then a regular flow of Qi, blood, and bioelectricity will return to nourish the damaged parts of the body and the brain. There is hope yet, because in our office, we never say never, and there is always hope, no matter how difficult the journey has been. We never give up. So if you or someone you know is suffering from any illness, big or small, we’ll be there to answer your questions and guide you go wellness and health.
Visit: www.tongrenstation.com for more.
Our Brain Health Experts Can Help!
Our integrative team of Brain Health Experts provides various treatments for brain injury, stroke, MS, ADD, anxiety, sleep, and chronic pain.
Consult Dr. Diane here or call us at (800)500-9971 to discover what team member and treatment is best specifically for you. Dr. Diane and/or any of her Brain Health Experts can work with your current providers to help you regain your life again. If you live elsewhere in the world, the Brain Health Experts can provide virtual treatment too. If this is not possible, Dr. Diane® and/or the Brain Health team expert will find someone in your locale to help you.