An in-depth guide to traditional Chinese medicine

The practice of oriental medicine is the irrefutable contribution of the great Chinese civilization, and its influence is still prevalent today. With its holistic approach to treating human physical ailments and mental conditions, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) dates back over 2,000 years. However, its core elements, philosophies and practices remain the same.

Traditional Chinese medicine aims to restore the body’s overall harmony. All illnesses are considered imbalances in the life force known as chi (chi in English). Reconciling the opposing energies of yin and yang and creating a balanced equation between them constitutes the backbone of Chinese medicine.

Despite constant scientific research and advancements in the field of medicine, there are still many who believe in herbal remedies to go back to their roots in traditional remedies. As such, it is one of the most popular forms of alternative treatment.

Herbal medicine details at a glance

History of traditional Chinese medicine

Shen Nong is considered the father of Chinese medicine and is credited with inventing the technique of acupuncture. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, he tried countless herbs to see if they worked. He lists more than 365 of his medicines derived from minerals, plants and animals described in the oldest texts of Chinese medicine.

According to the Mount Sinai report, early literature on this traditional medicine can be traced back to 200 BC and constitutes a well-founded diagnostic method. These ancient discoveries have been systematically reviewed and today, Chinese medicine experts know at least 2,000 herbal remedies and alternative remedies to cure their patients.

Differences between Eastern Medicine and Western Medicine

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Traditional Chinese medicine is a complete medical system that has shown effective results for many health problems, leading TCM practitioners to propose it as a plausible medical remedy. However, there are fundamental differences between Oriental medicine (TCM) and Western medicine when it comes to broader parameters.

Observation, trial and error, and clinical research are some of the methods TCM practitioners use to discover diseases and test treatments for them. On the contrary, Western medicine tends to emphasize empirical testing in diagnosis and treatment.

As for how to achieve healing, Chinese medicine is applied to balance Qi, the vital energy that flows through life. Western medicine, on the other hand, focuses on reducing or curing specific symptoms due to irregularities in body function.

In terms of diagnosis, traditional oriental medicine looks at the person as a whole, targeting the whole physical and psychological health. It focuses on the relationship between humans and the environment, treating humans as microcosmic elements in the big picture of the universe. On the other hand, in the treatment of Western medicine, various diseases are treated individually as individual symptoms and problems.

Different Aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment

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Before getting to know the different healing methods, it is important to understand the basics of TCM practice and what constitutes the elements of qi and yin and yang.

Since Qi is the life force, it is seen as the cosmic cohesive force that binds the entire universe together, essentially suggesting an enduring dynamic energy that flows both inside and outside living things. In this traditional medicine, qi he consists of two main branches. One is everything that enters the body (breath) and the other is what flows through the body (blood or blood). Shwe). This corresponds to the yin and yang philosophy that promotes harmony between opposites.

Traditional Chinese medicine believes that all health problems are the result of an imbalance or stagnation in the flow of Qi, so TCM treatments are primarily aimed at restoring Qi flow. We believe it is important to strike the right balance between the internal and external elements of earth, fire, water, wood and metal.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Healing Techniques

Traditional Chinese medicine has shown positive effects on many health problems such as chronic pain, diabetes and related diseases, arthritis, depression, anxiety, colds, Parkinson’s disease, asthma, and more. Some of the popular TCM treatments are:


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In acupuncture, a TCM practitioner inserts fine needles into the skin to stimulate specific points on the body called acupuncture points. Clinically tested and one of the best-studied treatments in traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture releases the body’s natural pain relievers and stimulates the brain to process pain. It is intended to influence the part. According to a National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NCCIH) report, acupuncture shows desirable results for serious conditions such as “back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis/knee pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome.” increase. The report also states that it “may help reduce the frequency of tension headaches and prevent migraines.”

Tai Chi

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Another age-old treatment of traditional Chinese medicine, Tai Chi is a form of slow body movement that emphasizes proper breathing. Combining strong postures with gentle movements, it emphasizes stress relief and relaxation. According to NCCIH, “Studies show that tai chi practice improves balance and stability, reduces pain from knee osteoarthritis, and helps manage fibromyalgia and low back pain in older adults and those with Parkinson’s disease.” suggest that it may help, promote quality of life, and improve mood” in people with heart failure. ”


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Cupping is a form of alternative medicine in which special heated cups are applied to the body to create suction. It is believed to maintain the flow of energy in the body and has some research results. health linewhich indicates that it is effective in promoting blood flow, reducing inflammation, and raising the pain threshold.

herbal medicine

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Herbal medicine products have long been part of TCM practice and have benefited respiratory ailments, menstrual problems and heart disease. It also promotes healthy sleep patterns. Although there may be no specific medical backing, Chinese herbal medicine is loved by many people for its natural ingredients. These include herbal teas, capsules and powders.

However, herbal medicines can have side effects, so it is essential to be careful about what you take. According to a report by John Hopkins, in 2004 “the FDA banned the sale of dietary supplements containing ephedra and plants containing ephedra alkaloids because of complications such as heart attack and stroke.” , is a herbal medicine used in dietary supplements for weight loss and performance enhancement. ”

Other traditional Chinese herbal treatments include moxibustion (burning herbal medicines close to the skin), Tuina Massage (a type of vigorous massage that incorporates acupressure and body manipulation to improve blood flow and reduce pain). A properly balanced intake of all types of nutrition also forms an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine.

Where can I find certified TCM practitioners?

Chinese medicine has made significant contributions in the field of natural health care and healing. This proves its popularity and relevance even today. Most major medical facilities and wellness centers offer traditional Chinese medicine treatments, but it’s best to use practitioners certified by the Accreditation Board for Oriental Medicine Acupuncture and Moxibustion (ACAOM).

The National Board for Accreditation of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) also offers recognized accreditation programs in Acupuncture, Chinese Herbalism and Oriental Manipulative Medicine.

Chinese herbal medicine side effects

Research and studies in traditional Chinese medicine are on the rise, and interest in this area is growing as more people nowadays take natural methods instead of taking pills.

Although it has numerous benefits and visible results, it also has certain serious side effects. The herbal preparations used by TCM practitioners to treat ailments can have conflicting effects, especially when combined with Western medicines. Similarly, certain herbs can pose health risks if they are contaminated with toxins, heavy metals, pesticides, microbes, or if they have not passed standardized regulations.

As for injuries, you are unlikely to encounter enemies while practicing tai chi, but minor injuries and soreness are likely to occur at first.

John Hopkins says TCM should not be viewed as “a complete replacement for conventional or symptomatic treatment.” However, it may be helpful when used as a form of complementary and alternative medicine.


Traditional Chinese medicine is an age-old practice that believes in the holistic harmony of both the internal and external energies of a living being. Harnessing nature and its benefits, TCM has shown certain positive effects on various chronic diseases. But in today’s world, where advanced medical research has revealed some scientifically proven remedies and treatments, it’s important to be careful. Therefore, you should always consult a trusted doctor and understand all of its side effects before proceeding.

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