Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a holistic system of medicine that has been practiced for over 2,000 years, originating from ancient folk practices and schools such as Taoism and Buddhism. It incorporates Chinese herbal remedies, acupuncture, moxibustion, qi gong, and dietary therapy to identify and treat the root causes of illness, injury, and disease.
Though Western medicine has all but completely abandoned TCM, there are plenty of studies demonstrating its efficacy. Here’s a quick introduction to a few of the various aspects of TCM.
Tai Chi is a slow, meditative martial art that is practiced for its healing benefits. The practice of Tai Chi has increased in recent years due to its health benefits and the fact that it can be practiced by people of any age, including children. The Chinese government has even declared it an official form of exercise, placing Tai Chi fitness centers in public parks.
Practicing Tai Chi will help to improve balance and muscle strength and can improve pain from arthritis and osteoporosis.
In TCM, health problems are believed to stem from imbalances or disruptions in the flow of Qi through the body. Qi is known as “vital energy.” Acupuncture is used as a way of correcting these imbalances by inserting needles into different parts of the body, which actually correspond to important connective tissue planes.
Chinese medicine has always included the use of herbal formulas, helping to remedy numerous health conditions. There have been studies researching and demonstrating the efficacy of Chinese herbal formulas when treating various conditions such as heart disease, mental disorders, and respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis and the common cold.
According to the National Institute of Integrative Health, using Chinese herbal remedies comes at a risk, as they may include foreign substances not recommended for consumption. However, Chinese herbal treatments are generally safe and effective.
Though the scientific and medical communities are still in their infantile stage, they’re continuing to learn more about Traditional Chinese Medicine, its implementation, and its overall efficacy.