• April 22, 2024

Traditional Chinese Medicine: What Is It?

Athletes or celebrities may occasionally have purple rings under their skin as a result of cupping. Alternatively, perhaps you know someone who uses herbal teas for colds or acupuncture for back pain. An increasing number of individuals are using techniques from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to both prevent and treat illness.

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TCM is a long-standing, traditional Chinese medicine system that has been practiced for thousands of years in China. The primary goal of Western medicine is to treat illness. However, TCM considers your total health.

Will it work and is it safe to try? Knowing a little bit about its history will help you make better decisions for your health.

What Is TCM’s Concept?

The body is often seen in Western medicine as being similar to an automobile. Its many systems require the appropriate inputs and outputs. It makes sense and is rather solid.

Contrarily, TCM places little emphasis on science or medicine. Rather, it is predicated on energy, harmony, and balance. The two main concepts of TCM are as follows:

Qi: It is often referred to as vital energy or life energy. It’s said to flow throughout your entire body. It is continuously changing and in motion. Treatments using TCM frequently center on qi flow promotion and maintenance.

It is believed that everything in life contains a small amount of its opposite as well, and that finding balance is essential. For instance, a medication prescribed by your physician may be able to treat an illness. However, if you take too much of it, it might be harmful.

TCM says that these concepts manifest physically. You feel good and in balance when your Qi’s yin and yang are in equilibrium. You feel ill if they’re out of balance. The goal of TCM is to establish balance and a wholesome qi flow.

Which Type of Practices Is Applied in TCM?

Numerous. Among them are:

acupuncture: delicately inserting tiny needles into the skin

Cupping: applying suction to your skin using heated cups

Herbs: primarily plant-based drinks, powders, and capsules

A technique to sit quietly and de-stress is meditation.

Moxibustion: burning dry herbs close to the skin

Tai chi: walk slowly and concentrate on your breathing

Is it secure?

According to experts, it’s safe as long as you see a professional. This is particularly true for moxibustion, cupping, tai chi, and acupuncture.

Herbs are a little more difficult. They are not subject to the same FDA regulations as medications. It can be challenging to determine exactly what’s in them because there hasn’t been as much study done on them. Herbs may also interfere with other medications you are taking or have negative effects. Once more, it’s critical to consult with a specialist in their field. And don’t hesitate to consult your physician.

Is It Effective?

TCM is a comprehensive method with variable outcomes. Not as much research has been done on the practices as on Western medicine. Compared to other therapies, acupuncture and herbs have been the subject of more investigation. However, research indicates great promise:

Acupuncture is widely recognized as a therapeutic intervention for various ailments, such as pain management and mitigating the adverse effects of chemotherapy.

Several TCM medicines are also utilized at reputable Western medical clinics to treat a variety of conditions, including menopause, arthritis, and difficulty sleeping.

For those suffering from Parkinson’s disease, tai chi appears to help with balance.

Cupping may be useful in shingles pain relief.

Who Is It Intended for?

That’s an individual choice. Treatments using TCM range from relieving stress to treating carpal tunnel syndrome. They occasionally combine it with Western medicine. It might be a wise decision if you:

possess a wide range of symptoms without a known cause

Treatment of medication adverse effects is necessary.

attempted Western therapy, but the outcomes were ineffective

wish to avert disease

Who Needs Not Use TCM?

Doctors often advise against using alternative medicine in place of Western medication, particularly if you have a serious illness like cancer or liver disease.

Additionally, they advise using herbs with caution if you’re:

senior citizens

either nursing or pregnant

slated for surgery (certain herbs may cause bleeding issues or hinder the effectiveness of medications given during surgery)

Using other medications

Attending to a minor

How Do Conventional Medical Professionals Feel About TCM?

Before recommending that you give anything a try, they want to see evidence that it is secure and effective. They frequently find it difficult to suggest TCM as a result. However, overall TCM research and interest are growing.

Additionally, a lot of prestigious medical facilities, like the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and Mayo Clinic, provide TCM services including acupuncture and herbal remedies.

How Can I Locate a TCM Practitioner?

The Accreditation Committee for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) accredited practitioner is your best option. They accredit TCM schools, and you may locate someone by visiting their website.

Reaching out to an Oriental medical school is an additional choice. Sometimes they can recommend one of their alumni to you.