| What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Although the first recorded history of TCM dates back 2000 years ago, it is known that TCM may have been in practice for more than 5000 years.
Stemming from three legendary emperor’s: Fu Xi, Shen Nong, and Huang Di, it is thought that Shen Nong founded herbal medicine, tasting hundreds of different plants himself in order to rid the people’s pain from illness. Ancient texts record that Fu Xi created ‘nine needles’, forming the basis of acupuncture.
TCM continues today to be of great value and benefit to health through Herbal treatment, Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Qi Gong, Tui Na and Diet. Yin and Yang, Wu Xing (the 5 elements) and Qi form the basic theory of TCM.
How does it work?
One important principle of Chinese medicine is to maintain or reinstate the body’s physiological balance.
The Qi (pronounced: chee. Considered to be the vital energy or life force running through the meridians/channels of the body. It keeps the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health in balance.) should be strong and moving well.
The Wu Xing (five elements/organs: metal - lungs, wood - liver, fire - heart, earth - spleen and stomach, water - kidneys) and the Ying and Yang have to be in a state of equilibrium.
Chinese medicine often addresses the root problem before the symptoms in order to give a more extensive effect. The individual is seen as a whole and treatment is unique to them.
These are totally natural and comprise of specific dried plant seeds, roots, stems and leaves which are prescribed in a combination to treat a particular complaint. There are over a 100 common herbs in use.
Since every patient’s case is different, the prescriptions are tailored to address a specific patient’s condition.
The herbs can be consumed in 2 ways:
1. As a herbal tea: the herbs are boiled to make a tea which is then drunk twice a day after meals.
2. As capsules: the herbs are processed to powder form and packed into capsules to be taken twice a day before or after meals.
Disposable needles are inserted into acupoints in the body in order to improve circulation, eliminate harmful elements within the body and ‘move’ Qi which can become blocked when the body is unbalanced/unwell.
Insertion of the needles may feel like a prick from a mosquito bite. It is a good sign if one feels a little ache, heaviness, numbness, distension or a traveling sensation in the local area. This means that it is having the effect it is supposed to (see above paragraph).
Many find acupuncture immensely relaxing.
Why do we need TCM?
Modern Medicine meets modern problems: antibiotics develop resistance, steroids and drugs often have side effects and no drug can kill a virus or cure a variety of difficult or new diseases such as AIDS or ME.
TCM provides a different type of treatment with fewer side-effects and a more natural whilst effective treatment.
Chinese medicine is especially effective against chronic conditions and can also be used preventatively.
Who can have treatment?
TCM can be employed by people of any age or constitution. A patient’s previous condition and current medication is all taken into account upon treatment. Children and pregnant women can all benefit from Chinese medicine.