Back to basics. More people nowadays are opting to go back to basics to address their health issues. These people believe that if these medical practices have worked for their ancestors, it can also help them and their family as well. Traditional Chinese medicine is one of these ancient medical practices that withstood the test of time and rapid medical advancements.

Get to know what traditional Chinese medicine is and how you can use TCM to achieve wellness.

What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is already in practice as early as two thousand years ago. However, TCM, as it is now, started when the Chinese began to incorporate their medical knowledge into a more cohesive practice.

A person possesses yin and yang energy, which harmonizes bodily functions. Traditional healers in Chinese society, therefore, believe that physical maladies come about as a result of imbalance the yin and the yang in a person’s body. As a result, healers don’t pinpoint a specific organ to heal. They try not just to treat the entire person’s body. Traditional Chinese medicine also strives to strike a balance in all body systems, both physical and mental.

Essentially, traditional Chinese medicine is a holistic process which includes different forms of healing such as acupuncture, Qi Gong, and herbal medicine. 

Acupuncture

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Acupuncture is the use of specialized needles to address specific body aches and pains. A trained acupuncturist strategically places these needles in the patient’s body for complete healing. 

Pros

Acupuncture helps relieve stress and releases oxytocin in the body. Furthermore, acupuncture helps trigger the patient’s body to heal itself after several sessions. Acupuncture is mostly pain-free. Most patients only feel a tingly sensation during sessions.

Cons

To reap the full benefits of acupuncture, you should go to reputable practitioners only. Needles are susceptible to carrying infections and should be sterilized before each use.

Best For Whom?

When used correctly, acupuncture can benefit everyone in the family. Parents can go for acupuncture to relieve after-work stress. Newly married couples can also try acupuncture to increase their chances of conceiving a child.

Even toddlers can go for acupuncture sessions. Specifically, acupuncture for toddlers can help address recurring back pains, headaches, and even sleep-related problems!

Cupping

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Ever felt that your body’s aching all over for no apparent reason? It could be that your body’s blood flow became obstructed over time. It could be because of stress, wrong food choices, or a fast-paced lifestyle. Whatever the reason, cupping can help your body go back to having a perfect balance.

Cupping uses heated glasses placed at a patient’s back. The heated cups will then act as a suction to help increase blood flow and relax your muscles.

Pros

Patients can feel relief even after one session. It is a quick and cost-effective alternative to chemical-based pain relievers. 

Cons

Cup-sized bruises all over your back. Because cupping uses suction to relieve body aches and pains, the process tends to leave bruises on the body. Don’t worry. It will fade away after several days. 

Best For Whom?

The elderly constantly suffering from backaches and stiff neck. Cupping is a stress-free remedy for these ailments.

Herbal Medicine

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Traditional Chinese medicine relies on medicinal herbs and plants to complement acupuncture and other healing methods. 

Pros

Chinese herbal medicine is useful for a wide array of diseases, including skin disease, respiratory diseases, and even psychological conditions. Traditionally, Chinese herbs are boiled and then included to make tea. In dried form, Chinese herbs are considered highly effective in addressing the disorders mentioned above. They also have little to no side effect on patients. 

Cons

There are many dietary supplements all over the US market claiming to have Chinese herbs as their primary ingredients. Some products even claim to have healing properties, even if the FDA does not recognize the product itself. Some of these supplements can also be life-threatening. It is still best to consult your physician before taking in any dietary supplement. 

Best For Whom?

Chinese herbal medicine is best for teens and adults who are looking for alternatives to pills and other chemical-based drugs. In the right dosage and formulation, Chinese herbal medicine is an excellent alternative to liver-damaging over-the-counter medication.

Qi Gong

What differentiates traditional Chinese medicine from western medicinal practices is its emphasis on holistic wellness. TCM does not only focus on counteracting physical ailments, but it also tries to heal the body through mindfulness techniques. Qi Gong is one of many exercises practiced in TCM. Qi Gong combines movements with breathing exercises for better circulation of chi throughout the body.

Pros

Soft and airy movements are perfect even for beginners. Moreover, Qi Gong is very relaxing but can be considered as physical activity as well.

Cons

Qi Gong takes time and effort to finish a specific exercise. It can be a problem for those who work on tight schedules.

Best For Whom?

This one works for teenagers, working-age people, and the elderly. Qi gong can help relax raging hormones present in teenagers. On the other hand, the elderly can benefit from a relaxing physical activity that does not put additional stress on their joints and muscles.

In summary, traditional Chinese medicine can be beneficial for the whole family. Even babies and toddlers can go for acupuncture for relief of specific conditions.