Chinese medicine or TCM is a combination of practice that can be traced back to 2500 years. There are various components of TCM that include Chinese herbal medicine and diet, Moxibustion, Therapeutic massage, and Acupuncture. This makes TCM a complete medical system capable of treating any medical condition.
Chinese dietary therapy
One the essential aspects of Chinese medicine. This practice promotes a more balanced diet according to each person’s constitution, this means that there is no single perfect diet that work for everyone.
All foods in traditional Chinese medicine are assigned properties according to the five flavours: sour, bitter, sweet, pungent and salty; and the four natures: cool, cold warm and hot.
Chinese herbal medicine
Along with dietary therapies this is the most widely used traditional Chinese medicine technique, this treatment modality relies on herbs and seeds to cure diseases and optimization of health and prevention of illness.
Chinese herbal medicine is based on the concepts of Yin and Yang. It aims to understand and treat the many ways in which the fundamental balance and harmony between the two may be undermined and the ways in which a person’s Qi or vitality may be depleted or blocked. Clinical strategies are based upon diagnosis of patterns of signs and symptoms that reflect an imbalance.
The materia medica is a book that includes information on the traditional uses, dosages, and contra-indications for each substance, as well as any available information on drug interactions, and any conventional medical research that has been published.
This traditional Chinese medicine is a therapy that involves the burning dried plant materials called “moxa” on or very near the surface of the skin. Moxibustion can also help with joint pain, arthritis, diarrhea, kidney stones, menstrual cramps, infertility, sperm motility and more. moxibustion is often used for those who have found no success with (or are too sensitive to) either drug treatments or acupuncture.
This practice can be done in two different ways. There are two types of in direct moxibustion, a small, cone-shaped amount of mugwort is put on an acupuncture point and burned. Indirect moxibustion is a more popular form of since there is a lower risk of pain or burning. This is where a moxa cigar is held over the skin until the area turns red.
Tui Na massage
Tui Na removes obstructions in the body’s energy pathways to improve and encourage the flow of qi. This particular therapy will combine massage with herbal medicine which will have great benefits as the Massage can enhance and speed up the action of herbal remedies.
Tui na is one of the most popular TCM treatment modalities and is frequently used in the treatment of superficial trauma and injury and a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems. Tui na is also often used when acupuncture is inappropriate, such as with children, when it is referred to as “Chinese pediatric massage therapy.”
Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine. Fine needles are inserted at certain sites in the body for therapeutic or preventative purposes.
These fine needles are inserted into certain identified acupuncture points on “meridians” which run throughout the body and correspond to certain organs. Meridians can be thought of as a highway of energy, or “qi” in traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture works by getting rid of the roadblocks on this energy superhighway.
Researchers from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine (Wang et al.) find acupuncture effective for the alleviation of both depression and anxiety for patients taking drug therapy. Two types of acupuncture demonstrated proven efficacy. Both manual acupuncture and electroacupuncture increased treatment outcomes for mild to moderate depression patients taking paroxetine (also known by the trade name Paxil). Manual acupuncture and electroacupuncture provided patients with a greater quality of life, as assessed by the World Health Organization’s WHOQOL-BREF scale. The assessment technique evaluates the perceived quality of life of each patient, overall health conditions, psychological parameters, physiological changes, and environmental perceptions.