Acupuncture is one of the most popular and effective contemporary healing techniques, practised in almost every country on the globe
What is TCM?
TCM stands for Traditional Chinese Medicine, an ancient and sophisticated medical system which originated in China but has increasingly spread throughout the world.
It arrived in the West in the 1970’s and is steadily gaining recognition and slowly becoming integrated into mainstream health care.
TCM is well established and well documented, and it is the principle form of medical care available to a large portion of the world’s population.
Diagnosis in TCM is wide ranging and deep.
It seeks to uncover the underlying medical cause for the presenting symptoms in order to ‘turn the tap off’ – hence eradicating the symptoms and preventing them from coming back.
Examining the patient’s lifestyle, physical and emotional environment and dietary habits forms part of the diagnosis, and treatment, to identify any factors that might be triggering or even causing the whole problem.
TCM Treatment Methods
TCM employs a variety of treatment methods. The main methods are acupuncture, which is also the best know in the UK, herbal medicine and medical Qigong.
TCM dietary advice and medical lifestyle advice form an integral part of any TCM treatment.
Cupping is a specialised technique for the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and respiratory conditions.
All TCM treatment methods can be combined with each other and with other systems of medicine.
One of the most attractive and distinctive features of TCM is that, from its earliest days, it has emphasised the promotion of positive health and has not restricted itself merely to the treatment of disease.
To attend a TCM clinic you do not need to wait until you actually become ill. It is enough that you ‘do not feel quite right’, or ‘could be better’, or are ‘not 100%’.
TCM recognises and is able to treat clients who are in the in between area of ‘not well but not yet unwell’. The ultimate aim of treatment is a fully functioning, well integrated, content and generally happy human being.
TCM aims to restore internal health in the whole person and thereby not only treat illness but also promote active health and vitality and thereby increase resistance to disease.
From its very ancient origins TCM has been at once both preventative and curative, the ideal being to so strengthen the person’s overall health and well-being that they do not get sick in the first place, or if they do fall ill, to speed their recovery.
In old times in China it was the custom that you would attend regular treatment in order to stay well. In the case of the patient falling ill, they would not pay the doctor in the understanding that it was the doctor’s job to keep them well!
One of the most outstanding features of TCM is that it can tailor the treatment to fit the complaint. The presenting problem, and the presenting patient, do not need to fit into a diagnostic box or qualify for a particular medical label.
In TCM diagnosis, no two conditions are exactly the same, and no two individuals will receive exactly the same treatment. The points selection in acupuncture, or the herbal prescription administered, are carefully adjusted according to the individual patient and problem.
This means that even ‘odd problems’ that have avoided western medical diagnosis can be successfully diagnosed and treated.
In the hands of a fully qualified professional practitioner, TCM is safe and entirely without harmful side-effects. It has stood the test of time over two thousand years and has not been found wanting.
Caution: In the UK, the practice of TCM does not have statutory regulation. This means that it is up the the patient seeking treatment to verify that the practitioner they wish to consult is indeed adequately qualified.
It is safe to say that there is no sick person who cannot be helped by TCM treatment, but only after a full traditional Chinese medical diagnosis has been carried out.
The extent and speed of this help will naturally depend upon a number of considerations, such as the nature of the complaint and the length of time it has been there, as well as the frequency and type of treatment received.
Suitable for Everyone
Every age, gender and condition is suitable for TCM treatment. Children can attend the clinic with their parents or guardians, and pregnant women can be greatly assisted throughout the pregnancy, delivery and nursing.
TCM is also compatible with other systems of medicine, such as Western medicine, and can be beneficial in managing the side effects of essential medical treatment such as chemotherapy.
Chinese Herbal Medicine uses TCM Classical Prescriptions containing ingredients such as roots, leaves and flowers to treat the client’s condition.
Medical Qigong is the most ancient and most sophisticated form of Chinese energetic medicine, and is one of the main branches of TCM.
Food Therapy is a highly refined specialism of TCM and involves careful monitoring of food and drink intake in order to eliminate disease and speed recovery.
Lifestyle Advice forms a crucial part of TCM treatment and concentrates on eliminating factors in the patient’s lifestyle or daily living that contribute to the health complaint.
Acupuncture treatment is often accompanied by moxibustion uses moxa, a specialist technique using moxa, a soft woolly substance prepared from mugwort leaves.
Cupping is one of the oldest methods of Traditional Chinese medicine. It effectively moves stagnation and alleviates respiratory and musculosceletal problems.