UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS & BENEFITS OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE

November 6, 2017

Proponents of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have trusted its practice for over 2000 years. TCM has a rich history and continues to grow in popularity. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health offers great insight on the beliefs that gave rise to TCM, the therapies and techniques in practice today, and the science that currently supports TCM. 

Ancient Beliefs

History asserts that TCM has its roots in ancient Taoism. Similar to Taoist beliefs, TCM sees humans as microcosms of the universe. Ancient TCM proponents also agreed with Taoist practitioners that balance was important. In TCM, the balance of opposing yin and yang forces supports holistic health. In addition to the Yin and Yan forces, TCM also believes in Qi as an energy that flows through every individual and is essential in maintaining health. TCM is based on the belief that fire, earth, wood, metal, and water have the ability to represent all manner of phenomena. 

TCM in Practice

TCM includes a variety of practices and treatment methods. Here are some of the most well-known:

  • Acupuncture: Technique during which practitioners insert thin needles through the skin to stimulate and manipulate Qi flow.
  • Moxibustion: A form of heat therapy used to increase Qi flow and dispel pathogens.
  • Herbal Medicine: The use of plants and plant parts for medicinal purposes.
  • Tui Na: Therapeutic massage and bodywork used to treat disharmony in the body.
  • Tai Chi: A series of focused movements combined with deep breathing techniques to help with relaxation. 

Current Research

In 2012, data gathered from 29 pain studies showed that acupuncture patients reported better pain relief than the patients who did not receive acupuncture.

Recent Tai Chi studies seem to support this therapy as beneficial in joint strength and mobility as well as general wellbeing in certain populations. 

Interested in learning more about the history or benefits of TCM? Contact us today or download our free guide: