Healthy Living

What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): Benefits, Herbs, and Therapies

What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): Benefits, Herbs, and Therapies

Key Takeaways

  • TCM is related to the characteristics of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.
  • The Chinese health care system originated in 200 B.C.
  • TCM offers many health benefits and prevents both minor and major health problems.

History of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) dates back to ancient China, where TCM practitioners used traditional herbal medicine in treating different kinds of diseases. The entire setup of Chinese medication is mainly based on systematic theories as well as abundant preventive and therapeutic methods, which deal with various health problems.

Traditional Chinese medicine is mainly dependent on the Chinese culture, Chinese knowledge about various plants, trees, substances, and herbs used. The Chinese culture, like any other Asian culture, is based on a particular philosophy. Moreover, the Chinese way of life has become part of TCM. 

The Famous Five Phases

As the Chinese were studying the things around them, they discovered major connections in nature and man’s internal organ system. Through such observations, early TCM practitioners developed a health care system that involved human body organs and natural elements. Hence, they came up with the theory called the Five Phases Theory. The five elements include wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. These elements represent the energies, which are involved in the continuous cycle of life and death. It has ultimately defined a correlation between the parts of human body, nature, and the society.

Life events resemble a circle, which they call as the creation cycle, where:

  • Wood - is burned in fire
  • Fire - produces ashes to earth
  • Earth - gives ore to produce metal
  • Metal - causes condensation to produce water
  • Water - sustains plants and trees to grow wood

In TCM, each particular element is related to specific internal body organs: yin and yang organs. An example of a yin organ is the liver, which is dense and solid. Its counterpart, yang, would be the gallbladder, which is a hollow and pocket-like organ. The theory is quite simple to understand—the elements and body organs flow together endlessly in one loop. TCM is firmly based on the proper interaction of the organ systems, which greatly influence how the body functions as a whole.

The various health benefits that TCM offers have been included in Eastern practices. It helps in minimizing stress and strain along with natural pain management. It offers a better way of life, restful sleep, strong immunity, and a reduced need for medications.

The Chinese health care system originated in 200 B.C. and it remains stronger even after thousands of years. TCM is the most natural way of restorative healing, which is based on the holistic approach and self-healing mechanism. According to TCM, the entire body is a form of a complicated network, which has been interconnected to many of its parts and with many interrelated links.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has specific types of therapies. The most common health problems can be effectively treated by TCM's useful techniques and therapies. The following are some of the most common health issues that can be treated using traditional Chinese medicine:

Traditional Chinese medicine therapies include the following:

  • Acupuncture: In this technique, thin needles are inserted into specific points of the body to promote natural healing. It relieves pain, fights stress, and balances hormones in the body.
  • Chinese cupping therapy: This alternative therapy utilizes cups that are placed on the skin to create suction. It is believed that the suction promotes proper blood circulation, which can help relieve pain, improve the immune system, and a healthy digestion.
  • Chinese herbal medicine: Involves thousands of herbal substances that can improve liver function, relieve inflammation, and prevent free radical damage.
  • Specific exercises: Chinese routine practices such as tai chi and qi gong are types of martial arts, which promote better blood circulation and balance in the body. These exercises involve meditation and slow deliberate movements to help restore your body’s energy. 

Ancient Chinese Philosophy

TCM was considered as one of the most commonly used medicinal practice, which was known to USA since 1970. Chinese medications have a higher impact in Eastern practices. There are many Asian medicinal practices, which have been successful in the Western part of the world. Some of the Asian practices include yoga, meditation, tai chi, and acupuncture. These practices help in providing better and quality healthcare systems. Most of the practices offered are mainly based on culture, traditions, and science, which were preserved by the people over thousands of years. The traditional healing approach of China has always helped mankind in overcoming health-related issues of everyday life. There are many other practices that are highly popular and very useful, but the traditional Chinese medicine stands out and has been respected all over the world.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been preserved for thousands of years by the Chinese. TCM became popular in the Western world, especially in America in the early 70s. According to the Chinese philosophy, Chinese medicine is based on the belief of vital energy called as "qi" (pronounced as "chee"), which is the essential part of life and health.

The principles of qi are quite famous and are based on various systems and pathways, which are constantly used in developing and utilizing Chinese traditional medicine. It is always useful in keeping the medicinal system intact and under complete balance.

Meridians are part of TCM practices and are completely based on the theories of acupuncture and acupressure. Specific meridians mainly focus on different points of the body such as the hands, feet, fingers, and toes. Restoring your qi can help in preventing both major and minor diseases, helps you develop a stronger immune system, and fights against different types of infections, disorders, and inflammation, including various injuries and body pain.

Another concept that is vital to traditional Chinese medicine is yin and yang, which is defined as opposing, but complementary energies. You might be familiar with the yin-yang symbol (a circle that is half white and half black with smaller circles inside). It is used to represent the concept of all of the earth’s opposing forces, including hot and cold, winter and summer, as well as energy and rest. Just like qi, yin and yang can negatively affect your health when they are out of balance and one is more dominant than the other. Thus, the primary goal of TCM treatment is to restore such equalizing relationship.

What are the advantages of TCM?

TCM has a strong medicinal approach, which can reduce inflammation and might increase one's protection from deadly diseases like cancer. According to some medical research and scientific studies, traditional Chinese medicine is powerful because it consists of various medicinal techniques and time-tested medicines that work wonders. The various techniques offer complete protection to the tissues, cells, and various organs of the body. Chinese herbal medicines are also capable of controlling diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, and many types of infections.

1. Eliminates chronic pain and severe headaches

One advantage of traditional Chinese medicine is that its healing approach is capable of effectively handling all types of chronic pain and body aches. Chinese traditional healing is based on relieving the pain and bringing peace to one's mind. The principle of Chinese medication brings changes in the body and offers the most accurate and highly effective solutions for all kinds of pain and discomfort. Chinese medicine is applicable to all types of body pain such as chronic headaches, pain in the neck and back, and arthritis.

2. Keeps hormones under control and enhances fertility

TCM mainly uses herbal-based medications, which contain a number of antioxidants and various powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. Such medications are based on Chinese techniques and 3,500 years of deep-rooted and long-standing traditional Chinese way of life. It is a reliable way of life, which guarantees an improvement of one's health when medications are taken on a regular basis. It helps in balancing the hormones and keeps the body's movement steady by maintaining correct balance.

It also helps in increasing the chances of pregnancy in women who are suffering from infertility. Such medicines are made with an understanding of the body elements, and having complete faith in nature and its surrounding elements. This makes traditional Chinese medicine as one of the most trustworthy alternative medicine that people across the world trust.

3. Preserves muscle strength, flexibility, and balance

Traditional Chinese medicine also uses Chinese techniques such as tai chi, which allows the body to function efficiently by strengthening the muscles and making the bones stronger. Such exercise can help you lose extra weight and gain more focus, which are both quite essential to keep the body fit and healthy. 

Who teaches Eastern medicine and are they safe?

Various Eastern techniques are becoming popular in Western countries, and are in much demand today. Professionals conduct the training session. Most of the professional trainers are certified and have years of experience. They have the best techniques and understanding of the Eastern world and its practices. The training sessions are friendly and are divided into various techniques and skills, which anyone can learn and practice without the fear of any side effects.

Traditional Chinese medicine has become a way of life in most developed countries like USA. And more and more people are learning this new way of life, which can bring changes in their health and quality of life.