What is traditional Chinese medicine?
Traditional Chinese medicine is a system of medicine based in part on the idea that a type of energy, called qi (pronounced “chi”), flows through the body through pathways called meridians. In this belief, if the qi flow is obstructed or unbalanced by these meridians, it can produce a disease. In China, doctors have practiced traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and its popularity is increasing in many Western countries.
It is believed that the causes of imbalance of qi have to do with:
- External forces, such as wind, cold or heat.
- Internal forces such as emotions of joy, anger or fear.
- Lifestyle factors such as poor diet, lack of sleep or excessive alcohol.
Another important concept in traditional Chinese medicine is that of yin and yang. In this approach, all things, including the body, are composed of opposing forces called yin and yang. It is said that health depends on the balance of these forces. Traditional Chinese medicine focuses on maintaining the balance of yin and yang to preserve health and prevent disease.
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners observe the balance of body, mind and spirit to determine how to restore qi, balance of yin and yang, and good health.
What is traditional Chinese medicine used for?
Some people use traditional Chinese medicine to treat problems like asthma, allergies and sterility. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners can use various types of treatment to restore qi balance.
Traditional Chinese medicine therapies include:
- Acupuncture, which uses thin metal needles placed along the meridians of the body.
- Acupressure, which uses the hands or fingers to apply direct pressure at certain points along the meridians of the body.
- Chinese herbs, combinations of herbs, roots, powders or animal substances to help restore body balance.
- The application of suction cups, which uses hot air in glass jars to create a suction that is placed in areas of the body in order to help stimulate the qi.
- Feeding. Yin and yang foods can help restore the balance of yin and yang in the body.
- Massage (tui na) in specific areas of the body or along the meridians of the body.
- Moxibustion, which uses small amounts of vegetable fibers to heat (moxa or Chinese sage) and are applied to specific areas of the body.
- Qi gong, which uses movement, meditation and breathing techniques.
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Is traditional Chinese medicine safe?
Research conducted in China and around the world has shown that traditional Chinese medicine is useful for many types of diseases. Because traditional Chinese medicine differs from the practice of Western medicine in its methods of diagnosis and treatment, it is difficult to apply Western scientific standards.
For example, in the practice of Western medicine, two people with a similar infection (such as sinusitis) may receive a traditional antibiotic treatment. In traditional Chinese medicine, each person can receive a different treatment for the same disease depending on the qi’s own and the yin and yang balance of each person.
In the United States, schools of traditional Chinese medicine are accredited, so a certified practitioner from an accredited school has received extensive training in traditional Chinese medicine.
The National Institutes of Health, through the National Center for Complementary and Integral Health and other institutes, funds the ongoing research of many complementary therapies to determine its benefits and risks. In general, acupuncture is safe when performed by a certified acupuncturist. Treatment can be costly and time consuming.
Like conventional medicines, traditional Chinese herbal medicines can also cause side effects, trigger allergic reactions or interact with other prescription or over-the-counter medicines or herbs. Before using any traditional Chinese medicine, be sure to tell your doctor about any prescription, over-the-counter or natural supplements you are taking.
As you noticed, China is very famous for its medicine, moreover it is well known for many more activities: nature, culture, food, gaming industry. Try to pick up a few tips for Chinese Poker before you try out China Poker. This can also be a good treatment and relaxation practice.
Talk to your doctor about any complementary health practices you would like to try or are already using. Your doctor can help you better manage your health if you know about all of your health practices