Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a highly sophisticated and complex system of medicine which has evolved over thousands of years. Although it is referred to as a single system, it actually uses a combination of therapies, including acupuncture, herbalism, massage, moxibustion, diet therapy and exercise such as t'ai chi.
The basic philosophy of TCM is that good health depends on the flow of vital energy or qi (pronounced chee) around the body in invisible channels, known as meridians, Along these meridians are 365 main pressure points which relate to specific organs of the body.
By activating these points by acupuncture. acupressure or shiatsu, energy is released, balanced or harmonised, depending on the combination you choose. A Chinese medical practitioner aims to prevent and remove blockages in the meridians by using this range of remedies.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Techniques
Acupuncture is one of the most popular and successful of the therapies used in Chinese medicine, It involves stimulating points along the meridians to improve the flow of energy. Fine sterile needles are inserted at relevant points to clear energy blockages and initiate healing. The needles may cause a tingling sensation but do not hurt. Some people feel the benefits of acupuncture immediately for others it takes several treatments before they feel better.
Herbalism is an important part of traditional Chinese medicine, but not every TCM practitioner prescribes herbs. Herbs provide a long term benefit after the immediate relief of acupuncture but the correct prescription is essential.
Massage techniques are sometimes used to diagnose and treat muscular problems, back pain or even problems with circulation. Not every therapist uses massage, but those who do will use gentle massage, continuing to work deeper into areas of tension and pain. Chinese massage is very strong and you may feel tired immediately afterwards and slightly stiff the next day. If you have a specific problem, you will need a course of massage treatment.
Diet & Exercise are another vital strand of TCM treatment, Your therapist may give you advice on foods to avoid or include in your diet and may recommend some gentle, energising exercise, which suits everyone, regardless of your age or level of fitness.