The System of TCM

If traditional Chinese medicine is new to you, you might have a lot of questions. What is it? How can it help me stay healthy? This quick guide will help you understand it better.

Traditional Chinese medicine has four main ways to help people: using herbs, acupuncture, hands-on therapy, and food guidance. It also includes exercises like qi-gong and tai-ji.

This kind of medicine has been around for over 3,000 years in China. It wasn't made by just one person. Instead, it grew from the Chinese people's need to stay healthy. They found help in using herbs, sticking needles into special points on the body, eating certain foods, massaging the body, and doing specific exercises.

Today, in China, traditional Chinese medicine is as common as Western medicine. Some people in China even prefer it over Western ways.

Why use traditional Chinese medicine if we have modern medicine? Well, some health problems that modern medicine finds hard to help can be better managed with traditional Chinese medicine. For example, some people feel quick relief from pain through acupuncture, something that Western medicine might not offer.

When you visit a traditional Chinese medicine doctor, they'll look at your skin color, examine your tongue, feel your pulse, and ask about how you're feeling and what you like to eat. Based on this, they'll suggest whether you might benefit from acupuncture, herbs, or certain foods. In China, almost all health issues can be addressed with traditional Chinese medicine. Depending on your needs, acupuncture might be best for pain, while herbs may be better for skin problems and issues with your inside parts.

It's worth noting that Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine have different strengths. Western medicine is good for emergencies and surgeries. Traditional Chinese medicine is strong in helping with skin issues, inside body problems, and long-term conditions. Unlike Western medicine, which often relies on strong medicines that can have side effects, Chinese herbs, acupuncture, and food guidance are generally gentler and can have long-lasting effects.

Even though the two types of medicine work in different ways, it's smart to see a Western doctor too. That way, you get a well-rounded view of your health.

Traditional Chinese medicine draws from old classics like the "Nei-Jing," or "The Yellow Emperor's Classics of Internal Medicine." Unlike Western medical books that might get outdated, many old Chinese medical books are still important today. One famous saying from the "Nei-Jing" tells us that just because a health problem has been around for a long time doesn't mean it can't be helped. A skilled doctor can help much like one can remove a needle from the skin or untie a knot that's been tied a long time ago.

So, if you're interested in a different way to stay healthy, traditional Chinese medicine might offer something valuable for you.