Balance the Ying Yang elements

Alternative Medicine - TCM

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has many thousand years of history. Today, TCM is used in most Chinese hospital in conjunction with modern medicine. Throughout the world, TCM is being well accepted as an alternative form of holistic medicine.


Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Western and Chinese medicine differ in the way an illness or disease is viewed. While Western medicine tends to treat the effects of the illness or disease, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) emphazizes on uncovering and treating the root or roots of each problem.

TCM treatment is more holistic. It is about balancing the body's system (Ying/Yang) and increasing it's immunity to fight against diseases. TCM believes that when a person falls ill, then his Ying or Yang elements are not in balance and the TCM practioner will prescribe the neccessary medication or treatment to restore the Ying Yang balance.

Main aspects of TCM
Unlike Western medicine which relies on a host of equipments and machineries to help the doctor in diagnosis and treatment, TCM relies simply mostly on the practitioners' skills, experience and power of observation to detect and treat health problems.

Observation
The first aspect of TCM is observation. By looking at a patient's complexion, posture, appearance and movement, the TCM practioner is able to guage from first impression if a person is healthy or make initial diagnosis of his problem.

Smell and hearing
A TCM practitioner can also diagnose from the smell of a sick person's breath or by listening to the sound of his breathing or his cough. Internal problems are often manifested through external symptoms and the practioner will seek the right treatment based on these observations.

Question and Answer
The TCM physician will also ask the patient a series of questions including their area of discomfort, diet, bowel movement, sleep and physical conditions.

Through a series of questions and answers, he will be able to further narrow down the patients problem.

Physical examination
Lastly, the patient's pulse is read, his tougue, throat and eyes are examined to arrive at a full diagnosis. In TCM, the doctor is able to diagnose a number of problems just by feeling the pulse, a skill commonly known as 'ba mai' in Chinese.

By checking the tongue or eye, he/she reinforces his intial diagnosis that he has earlier arrived at through his observation, smell, hearing and questions.

Treatment
Once a diagnosis has been arrived at, the patient is treated with one or more of treatments including accupuncture, TuiNa (Massage) or herbal prescriptions. These are the more common treatment methods and these treatment methods are natural, holistic and non invasive.

In Chinese medicine, many discomfort are believed to be due to energy channels or meridian points in the body being blocked or misaligned. Accupuncture, massage, ba-qua (heat treatment) will unblock or re-direct these clogged or misaligned channel by stimulating energy flow within the appropriate meridians of the body.

For other illnesses such as kidney, diabetes or liver problems, medications may be recommended. Medication in TCM are usually herbal remedies derived from conconctions based on TCM books that went back to hundreds and thousands of years. Medication is also prescribed to balance the Ying/Yang elements or to boost one's immunity and health.

In olden days, herbal prescriptions are brewed with different kind of herbs for many hours to get a liquid herbal drink. It is not uncommon to find such herbs being dried, packed, weighed and distributed in traditional medical shops if you visit villages in China.

Traditional Chinese Medicinal shops.
Today, most of these herbal conconctions are reproduced in modern, clean pharmaceutical factories and being sold and consumed in familiar pills and syprups such as those found in Western medication. These medications can be found in both traditional Chinese medical shops and pharmacies located throughout China.

Popularity of TCM
TCM is enjoying a strong revival within China as well as gaining popularity with the rest of the world. Among the various fields of alternative medicine, traditional Chinese skills such as Tui-Na (Massage), acupuncture and TCM are highly sought after as they have proven to be simple yet effective.


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