Traditional Chinese Medicine is an ancient alternative medicine approach built on a foundation of over 2,500 years of Chinese medical practice. Traditional Chinese Medicine encompasses a wide range of treatment modalities and techniques that are specifically aimed to treat and resolve the underlying cause of an illness or injury. As communities all around the world are recognizing the importance of holistic health that takes into account both mind and body, naturopathic medical practices like Traditional Chinese Medicine are soaring in popularity. Here we look at 7 interesting facts about Traditional Chinese Medicine you may not know.
1. Wide Range of Practices and Treatments
Traditional Chinese Medicine is not just one form of treatment, but encompasses a wide range of health practices and treatments to benefit total wellbeing, including herbal medicine, acupuncture, cupping massage, tai chi, qigong, and nutrition therapy. These treatments may be used alone or together to provide healing and comfort to the mind and body.
2. Ancient History
The techniques and treatments that form Traditional Chinese Medicine are grounded in over 2,500 years of history, with some techniques and practices being 5,000 years old. Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on a philosophy and knowledge of the human body that is equally ancient and historical.
3. Based in Energy
The view of health and disease in Traditional Chinese medicine is based on the movement, flow or blockage of the life energy, qi, around energy channels in the body. The therapies in traditional medicine are based on correcting the flow of qi and balancing other elements in the body to correct disease and dysfunction and ensure optimal health.
4. Holistic View of Health
Traditional Chinese Medicine aims to treat the root cause of the problem, rather than just fixing the symptoms. This treatment focuses on balancing body, mind and spirit to establish healing and holistic health in the entire being. It is important to realize that Chinese medicine has its own way to diagnose states of Imbalance, like illness or pain. Practitioners use tongue and pulse diagnosis, as well as the patient’s own report of each body system. All of these factors are considered in developing a unique patient treatment to bring the body back to its natural state of harmony.
5. Natural Treatments
Traditional Chinese Medicine uses herbal medicine, which is more like nutrition for the body. This is why herbal shops are next to the food market in Chinese neighborhoods. The medicinal herbs, usually concocted as a formula of several herbs, are cooked together to make a tea. Modern herbal manufacturers then freeze dry the tea into a powder for encapsulation. Herbal medicine is non-synthetic. What you find in herbal formulas is what the Earth has provided. In this natural state, the body can recognize and utilize the healing power of the herbs. However, herbal medicine is just that, medicine. It is important to understand herbs and how they work and for what conditions. It is always best to go to a licensed professional before taking medicinal herbs to avoid unwanted side effects, etc.
Many of the treatments used in Traditional Chinese Medicine are entirely drug free, and the herbal medicine associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on using completely natural extracts to correct illness and restore health.
6. Complements Western medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine can be a complement to conventional Western medical treatments. Many patients undergoing Western treatment prefer to complement their conventional treatment with the pain relief offered by acupuncture or cupping. In these cases, it’s critical to consult with a qualified Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner who understands the interactions between Eastern and Western medicine, for safe and effective results.
7. Discovery of Active Compounds
Traditional Chinese Medicine can be a complement to conventional Western medical treatments. Many patients undergoing Western treatment prefer to complement their conventional treatment. The pain relief offered by acupuncture and/or cupping therapy, as well as the effectiveness of Chinese Medicine for the relief from side effects of cancer treatments are a few good examples of when complementary medicine can be successfully utilized. In these cases, it’s critical to consult with a qualified Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner who understands the interactions between Eastern and Western medicine, for safe and effective results.
While Traditional Chinese Medicine is a practice that is still being explored and understood in the West, there’s no doubt this ancient system has incredible benefits for body, mind and spirit.