Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a Chinese medical practice that has existed and evolved for approximately 3,000 years. In the United States, TCM might be considered by some as an “alternative medicine”, whereas in China, TCM is a standard of care – both Western biomedical medicine and TCM are generally used both as primary and complementary modalities. TCM addresses the healing of the mind, body, and spirit, as an interconnected system. TCM aims to treat the root of the problem, rather than treating just the symptoms.
When one thinks about TCM, acupuncture generally is the first thing that comes to mind. In actuality, TCM is much more than just needles being placed in a few select places. It is a complete medical system that includes a diversity of other treatment modalities such as Chinese Herbal Medicine, food therapy, acupressure, Tui Na (a style of Chinese massage), Gua Sha, Fire Cupping,Moxibustion, Tai Ji Chuan, and Qi Gong.
One of the great strengths of TCM is that it is customized specifically for each individual patient, including a patient-specific health history intake and treatment of patient-specific symptoms. Whereas there are basic treatment protocols for many conditions, every treatment is tailored to each patient’s specific set of baseline of health, signs, and symptoms.
TCM views the body as a coordinated set of networks and pathways called channels/meridians, which normally function in intricately balanced harmony. Disharmony among the mind, body or spirit, can manifest as ailments and disease. TCM practitioners focus mainly on correcting the imbalanced circulation of these channels/meridians using herbs, acupuncture, and the other modalities listed above.