What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
As the name suggests, TCM was developed in China thousands of years ago and has evolved to be the medical practice that is used today. The Chinese theory of health diagnosis is very different to a Western approach and is founded on the principles of balancing Yin and Yang, and establishing a smooth flow of Qi and blood around the body and organs. Illness occurs when there is an imbalance of Yin and Yang and a stagnation of Qi and/ blood.
Many factors can contribute to this imbalance, including stress and emotions. TCM combines the emotional and physical elements of an illness and seeks to treat both. I have found over many years of practice in my clinic, that almost every patient I see has some degree of emotional factor involved in their health. TCM is excellent at helping to resolve these emotional symptoms.
There is a beautiful poetry behind the theory of TCM but I love it most because it looks at all aspects of the patient’s health, physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual.
TCM employs several ways of rebalancing the body:
Where very fine sterile needles are positioned on specific points on the body. These tell the body where to direct the Qi and Blood in order to begin the healing process. It is a pleasant, relaxing experience and most of my patients end up falling asleep.
A glass or plastic cup is placed, inverted onto specific acupuncture points. A vacuum is created within the cup either through the use of a flame (don’t worry, you won’t burn) or by using a vacuum pump. The vacuum sucks the skin and tissue upwards which separates the layers of the skin, muscle and tissue. It is a pleasant experience and is excellent at helping with musculoskeletal issues. It is used a lot by professional athletes as the results are quick to feel. It is almost the opposite action of a deep tissue massage, but the results are similar and can be more targeted.
A form of Chinese medical massage where the meridian channels of the body are stimulated.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Based on the practitioner’s TCM diagnosis, Chinese herbs are selected and mixed into a prescription. These herbs have specific actions, similar to the acupuncture points and are very effective as restoring the Yin Yang balance and the flow of Qi and Blood.