Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) dates back at least 2000-3000 years. Although it is an ancient system of medicine, it is still very much mainstream in the state hospitals in China and other parts of Asia. It is used alongside modern medicine in order to treat illness.
TCM takes a holistic view of the body which means that the whole person is treated. The parts of the body and mind are not treated as separate entities but rather connected and interrelated. The health or illness of the person is also influenced by other factors such as lifestyle, relationships and diet, all of which are taken into account so that the person can overcome illness or disease and restore balance to their body and mind.
Branches Of Traditional Chinese Medicine
There are a number of branches of TCM:
- Acupuncture. Involving the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body to reduce pain and promote healing.
- Chinese Herbal Medicine. Using combinations of various parts of plants in order to prevent illness and disease in addition to treating conditions of ill health.
- Qigong. The gentle combination of simple movements, breathing and mind focus to restore internal health by energising the body and calming the mind (think of it like a “moving meditation”).
- Moxibustion. A heat treatment in which a dried herb called mugwort or Moxa is burned near to the surface of the skin in order to promote circulation, warm the area and facilitate healing.
- Food Therapy. In China the practice of using food to prevent and treat illness is longstanding. Chinese people inherently know that certain foods possess specific properties which influence the health of the body.
- Tui Na or Acupressure Massage. This is the application of pressure to specific acupuncture points in order to stimulate the flow of blood and Qi (energy) or sometimes realign structural or skeletal problems.
- Cupping. A method of placing of bamboo cups or glass jars on the surface of the skin and suctioning out the air to create a vacuum. This causes raised skin which enhances circulation, relieves pain and draws out “toxins” from the body’s tissues.
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