What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

The basics: TCM

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been practiced for thousands of years. In TCM, the body is believed to be an energetic system that must have a balanced, harmonious flow of vital energy.

Known as Qi, this vital energy needs to be balanced in order to maintain good health. Chinese Medicine aims to create wholeness in all things mind, body and spirit.

Traditional Chinese Medicine principles are defined in Yin and Yang. When Yin and Yang are out of balance ill health can occur. TCM believes Yin and Yang is in everything. For example, the masculine Yang represents day, heat and the sun, while the feminine Yin represents the moon, cool and night.

Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood are the five elements also represented in TCM. Inside each is an organ, a season, a taste, a bodily tissue and a sound. Additionally, TCM principles hold three treasures: Qi is the vital essence, Jing is the essence and Xue is the blood.

Acupuncture – By using TCM, imbalances can be found through a tongue and pulse diagnosis. Acupuncture is then used to bring back the balance and re-establish a healthy flow of Qi. Acupuncture is thought to be effective in treating stress disorders, digestive problems and allergies.

Tai Chi and Yoga – Practicing these traditional sequences is a great way to maintain health. The ancient exercises are believed to keep the Qi strong, healthy and flowing in harmony. They are also effective in reducing stress levels and keeping you active.

Diet – An important principle in TCM is eating according to the seasons. Eating seasonally and sensibly is a way to maintain wellness. Traditions advise against eating cold, raw foods in the winter months and that eating too much of the five flavours – sweet, salty, spicy, pungent and sour – can lead to disharmony. To keep your digestive fire strong, try to avoid drinking cold drinks and having warm to room-temperature drinks only.

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Ellen Hoggard

Written by Ellen Hoggard

Ellen is the Content Manager for Memiah and writer for Therapy Directory and Happiful magazine.

Written by Ellen Hoggard

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