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What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Here in the Western world, we view our bodies in a similar way to the way we view our vehicles. We believe that we need to take care of our body’s outputs and inputs. However, in Chinese medicine, there isn’t a focus on medicine, as such, or science. Instead, this ancient practice focuses on energy, harmony, and balance.

Yin & Yang and Qi

Yin & Yang and Qi (pronounced “Chi”) are 2 specific ideas that are a huge part of traditional Chinese medicine. They have been used for thousands of years in the east, however, we in the west are only starting to learn about them.

– Yin & Yang – This is the opposite of Qi and focuses on balance. It is believed that everything has an opposite and that it’s vital there is a balance. The theory is that when you balance everything, you feel healthy. Yin & Yang is used in acupuncture, and it is the acupuncturist’s job to ensure the balance is maintained. There are other areas where the concepts of Yin & Yang are used, but this seems to be the most popular.

– Qi – This represents vital/life energy. Qi is thought to run throughout your body and it’s always moving. In the word of traditional Chinese medicine, the focus is often on promoting and maintaining the flow of Qi. Those who have taken up Tai Chi will tell you how they can feel Qi as they move.

Where Chinese Medicine is Used

Traditional Chinese medicine can be found in meditation, Tai Chi, acupuncture, cupping, and in herbs. The Chinese are well-known for their use of herbs, especially in teas.

Is Traditional Chinese Medicine Safe?

Yes, many experts believe that traditional Chinese medicine is safe. The Chinese have, after all, been using it for thousands of years. They have perfected their herbal mixtures, their use of cupping, and their other practices.

While herbs can be somewhat tricky to use as many don’t have FDA approval, it does not mean they don’t work. It just means that there has not been much research undertaken on them.

Is Traditional Chinese Medicine Effective?

It is thought that the results achieved by using traditional Chinese medicine can vary. This is because again, there has not been much research undertaken by those in the western world. However, the studies that have taken place show that there is definitely a good reason to trust traditional Chinese medicine. Here’s why:

Tai chi is shown to help improve the balance of those who have Parkinson’s disease

  • Acupuncture is shown to help relive pain and limit chemotherapy side effects
  • Cupping can help to relieve pain caused by shingles
  • Some herbs can help to relieve the symptoms of menopause, arthritis, and sleeping issues

Traditional Chinese medicine is now beginning to find its way into the western world. It offers different solutions to many prescribed medicines that can have nasty side effects. If you do choose to use Chinese medicine, please speak to your doctor first.

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