What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Author: ANCP   Date Posted:5 May 2016 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient medical healthcare system which has been used for thousands of years and is still being used today!

TCM encompasses a wide range of treatments and techniques including Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, cupping, moxabustion, scraping, breathing therapy (qigong) as well as diet, exercise and lifestyle advice. TCM aims to restore the body back into balance, harmony and order. This is the primary focus of modern TCM as disease and illness is considered by TCM practitioners to be caused by an imbalance in harmony and order in the body.  

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners view the body in terms of meridians (energy pathways, which are thought to be a network of invisible channels throughout the body). Qi (pronounced chee) also known as ‘life energy’ flows through the body’s meridians. Qi can become blocked or an inadequate supply or flow can occur, which leads to disharmony and the body being unable to maintain balance and order - leading to illness and disease.

The various techniques used by TCM practitioners aim to remove these blockages and help the qi circulate freely throughout the enitre body. When the qi is free flowing and uninterrupted this restores and maintains health. TCM practitioners treat holistically and focus on treating the underlying cause of the disharmony in the body. They also focus on preventive health as much as the treatment of a health concern.

Each TCM treatment is individualised and designed specifically to your needs after extensive clinical assessment and diagnosis has been performed. Part of the assessment includes a thorough case and medical history being taken and pulse, face and tongue diagnosis being used. A TCM treatment may involve one or multiple therapies used by TCM practitioners.  

What can Traditional Chinese Medicine help?

TCM treatments work on restoring the body’s balance by treating the underlying condition as well as the presenting symptoms.

Some conditions TCM may help with include:

  • Arthritis, joint pain, sciatica
  • Pain, muscle pain
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive disorders
  • Menopause
  • Menstrual and gynaecological problems
  • Stress, depression, anxiety
  • Kidney problems
  • Weight loss
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Asthma, hayfever and eczema