Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
What is it?
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an ancient system of medicine that uses various treatments like acupuncture, acupressure, tai chi, qi gong, and herbs.
At the time that TCM was developed over 2000 years ago, there was no scientific concept of disease or medications in terms that can be related to our modern understanding of medicine. Therefore, the principles of TCM were formed based more on philosophy than on science. TCM still plays an important role in the healthcare system in China today and has also become popular in many Western countries.
TCM uses a wide variety of methods to diagnose and treat many different medical conditions. The evidence supporting its use varies for each treatment and condition.
TCM uses many herbs and combinations of herbs. But some of these herbs can be misidentified, which can lead to the accidental use of possibly poisonous plants. In several cases, TCM herbal products have also been found to contain high levels of heavy metals including lead, arsenic, and mercury. Other products have been found to contain prescription medications.
Effective for …
TCM is an ancient system of medicine that uses a variety of treatments including herbs, specific combinations of herbal ingredients, acupuncture, acupressure, moxibustion, qi gong, and tai chi. See specific therapies for effectiveness information.
Qi, pronounced “chee,” refers to the total energy of the body that flows along 12 meridians. TCM uses various methods, including acupuncture, acupressure, qi gong, and tai chi, to maintain or correct energy flow and balance.
TCM also uses herbal products to help balance bodily processes. Most herbs are taken as a fixed formula or a fixed combination of several herbs. Each individual herb is thought to address a specific imbalance.
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