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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Traditional Chinese medicine or TCM is the name given to the collective holistic therapies of Chinese medicine. It is one of the most popular alternative medicine.

It's been used in China as a health care system for thousands of years for a variety of health and disease problems. It's core theory is that of yin and yang and the believe that mind, body and spirit are one.

TCM practitioners believe in vital energy and use various therapies to boost and regulate this energy force to improve health and disease.

The Five Elements or Phases is one of the most important theories in traditional Chinese medicine after yin and yang theory. Each internal organ has an element, for example, the Heart is Fire and generates Earth, the Spleen. Earth in turn generates Metal, the Lung, which generates water, the Kidney and that generates wood, the Liver which then generates Fire.

Each internal organ also has an associated emotion, for example the Heart has joy, the Spleen worrying, the Lung sadness and grief, the Kidneys fear and will power and the Liver frustration and anger. Each of these emotions will affect it's associated internal organ.

Although the name implies that it originated from China, it's actually the same form of medicine practised in the whole of Asia and should really be referred to as oriental medicine.

Types of traditional Chinese medicine

There are 9 different TCM treatments that make up traditional Chinese medicine all of which are used on the human body and include:

  1. Acupuncture treatment
  2. Moxibustion therapy
  3. Cupping therapy
  4. Gua sha
  5. Chinese herbal medicine (herbal therapies)
  6. Tuina (massage)
  7. Chinese dietary therapy (dietary supplements)
  8. Chinese lifestyle optimisation
  9. Exercises such as tai chi, qi gong and kung fu

Qualified TCM practitioners will be fully aware of all these different therapies and be able to practice them with their patients to improve health and prevent illness.

Research into TCM

The National Institutes of Health list evidence based systematic reviews that support it's therapeutic benefits for many health problems.