Long before modern-day hospitals, carefully concocted medications, and mainstream medical practices, humans have faced disease, illness, and imbalance within the body. So how exactly did ancient cultures manage to identify and address these ailments?
One medicinal and healing approach that has stood the test of time and has been relied upon for thousands of years to treat these human maladies is an ancient medical system known as Traditional Chinese Medicine. While the principles behind Traditional Chinese Medicine may be ancient, its practices are anything but outdated.
In this blog post, we’re going to explore the philosophy behind Traditional Chinese Medicine, how it can enhance your health and well-being, and how you can tap into the health benefits of this ancestral way of approaching wellness and vitality. Let’s start with defining exactly what Oriental medicine is.
What Is Oriental Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine, also known as Oriental Medicine, is an ancient medical system that has been used in traditional oriental cultures to diagnose and treat health conditions for thousands of years. Traditional Chinese Medicine is built around the concept that all of us have a vital life force energy known as Qi (pronounced chee).
This life force energy is designed to flow freely through channels in your body – keeping your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being balanced. When the flow or balance of this Qi is disrupted, it creates imbalance, disease, and illness in the body, mind, and/or spirit.1
Traditional Chinese Medicine combines ancient wisdom and techniques to restore balance to your Qi and harmonize your body’s vital energy. Let’s take a look at some of the methods that Traditional Chinese Medicine uses to help address harmful energetic blocks, leaks, or imbalances to harmonize your Qi.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Examples and Methods
Unlike Western or conventional medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine seeks to treat disease from a holistic perspective – addressing the balance between your internal organ systems, your mind and spirit, and your external environment. Any imbalance is not thought of as an issue with the individual structure or body part itself, but rather a disruption in the flow of energy amidst a complex and deeply interconnected network.
And to address this imbalance, Traditional Chinese Medicine employs a number of energy-harmonizing and healing techniques that include:
Acupuncture is a technique that uses tiny needles strategically placed at specific points of the body to stimulate nerve-dense areas of the skin. As these nerve-rich areas are stimulated, it redirects and revitalizes the energy flowing throughout your body to help rebalance your Qi and alleviate any symptoms created by this imbalance.2
Being poked by needles might sound a little unsettling at first, but the needles used in acupuncture are so tiny that they cause little to no discomfort. In fact, most people find themselves feeling incredibly relaxed during and after their acupuncture treatment and experience significant improvements in symptoms ranging from headaches and back pain to anxiety and insomnia.
Traditional Chinese Medicine also incorporates a variety of herbal remedies to address ailments and energetic imbalances. These herbal remedies can be delivered via:4
- Herbal teas and tinctures
- Powders or capsules
Herbalists and practitioners trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine create a personalized herbal regimen using a blend of herbs that influence the internal organs and create balance within your body. These potent herbal blends can have a powerful effect on the body and it’s important to work closely with a well-trained practitioner who can monitor your response to the herbs and adjust as needed.
Cupping and Tui-Na
Cupping therapy places specialized cups on certain points of your body that create suction. These cups enhance circulation and facilitate the flow of Qi – helping to nourish the tissues and eliminate toxins stored in the body.
Cupping also goes hand in hand with massage therapy known as Tui-Na – which includes the kneading, rubbing, and manipulation of your muscles and soft tissues. Both cupping and massage therapy help stimulate your natural built-in self-healing process to revitalize the current of energy flowing through your body.5
Moxibustion is another therapeutic healing therapy used in Traditional Chinese Medicine that is often used in conjunction with acupuncture or Tui-Na massage therapy. Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plants known as moxa are burned on or near your body to help stimulate blood flow and the flow of your Qi.
We’ve all heard the phrase “you are what you eat” and can recognize the importance of a healthy diet. But Traditional Chinese Medicine takes the idea of using food and nourishment as a means of healing even further.
Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that the food we ingest can have a major influence over our Qi. Different foods – like fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats – are used in defined proportions to maintain and promote health. Hot and cold foods as well as different flavor profiles (like spicy, sour, salty, sweet, or bitter) are also utilized to calm or invigorate your inner energy.6
Tai chi is a type of exercise that incorporates a series or flow of gentle movements paired with controlled deep breathing. As your body flows through the movements while breathing deeply and focusing all of your intentions on the exercises, it promotes the flow of energy throughout your entire body.3
Tai chi is also referred to as “meditation in motion” thanks to its ability to induce a deep sense of relaxation and peace – almost like hitting the reset button for your mind, body, and spirit. Tai chi taps into the dynamic and deeply-deeply rooted connection between your mind and your body, making it a potent form of mind-body medicine.
This powerful combination of modalities used in Traditional Chinese Medicine can have remarkable health benefits.
What Are the Benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine is rooted in the practice of supporting and promoting your body’s own natural healing mechanisms and creating a foundation of health from the inside out. By seeking to create balance and enhance your well-being on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level, the ancient wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine can have far-reaching health benefits.
You see, Traditional Chinese Medicine doesn’t simply address any underlying physical imbalances. Rather, it helps you to truly get in touch with your well-being from a holistic standpoint – allowing you to tune into what your body and soul truly need to feel aligned which can:
- Decrease overall inflammation
- Minimize stress and your body’s response to stress
- Balance hormones
- Reduce pain
- Boost mental health
- Enhance flexibility, strength, and proper body movement
Putting it all together, this can make Traditional Chinese Medicine a powerful tool in the treatment of countless conditions and imbalances.
What Exactly Does Traditional Chinese Medicine Treat?
There are well over a 100 different conditions established by the World Health Organization (WHO) that Traditional Chinese Medicine can potentially treat. This ancient medical system has been used for centuries to treat every ailment under the sun, including very difficult conditions. If you have any diagnosis, are struggling with unexplained symptoms, are worried about an imbalance, or simply want to optimize your health, chances are Traditional Chinese Medicine can help.
So rather than exploring every condition that Traditional Chinese Medicine can potentially treat or help with, a better question to ask is – is Traditional Chinese Medicine better than Western medicine?
Is Traditional Chinese Medicine Better Than Western Medicine?
The answer is – it is a great alternative and adjunct therapy to support your health. Both medicines work well together. While Traditional Chinese Medicine is a powerful and effective form of medicine to support more difficult to treat and chronic disease, Western medicine is incredible and powerful in life-saving and emergency situations, playing an irreplaceable role in healthcare.
The real magic happens when we can take the wisdom and tools from both of these approaches to health. Depending on your symptoms or diagnosis, conventional medicine may indeed have some answers and relief that you need. And if you can pair the knowledge and tools from Western medicine with the strategies and principles behind Oriental medicine, you can not only address your symptoms but begin to identify and heal the root cause of your imbalance.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to wellness, and there is no singular approach that has all of the answers. Rather, we can utilize the wisdom from all approaches to health to create a customized approach to wellness that is entirely unique to you.
Ready to Experience the Principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and More?
We have a dedicated Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese medicine practitioner on staff at Silver Tree Wellness Center. If you’re intrigued by the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and curious if this philosophy can help you, I encourage you to schedule a complimentary 15 minute consultation with Dr. Derek Marrongelle, DACM, L.Ac, CCN . Here at Silver Tree Wellness, we specialize in merging modern-day science with the wisdom forged from ancestral ways of treating illness and optimizing well-being.
We integrate advanced scientific lab testing, modern healing technologies, nutritional and lifestyle modifications, and spirit-centered practices to identify and address the underlying root cause of any health obstacles you may be facing. We partner with you to create an entirely personalized plan to restore balance, promote self-healing, and revitalize your well-being on every level.
To schedule a consultation with one of our specialists at Silver Tree Wellness, you can call our office at 602-675-0170 or send us an email by clicking right here. We can’t wait to hear from you and partner with you on your wellness journey.
- Definition of Oriental medicine – NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms – National Cancer Institute
- Acupuncture: In Depth | NCCIH (nih.gov)
- The Health Benefits of Tai Chi – Harvard Health Publishing – Harvard Health
- What You Should Know About Chinese Herbs – Cleveland Clinic
- Chinese Medicine | Johns Hopkins Medicine
- Food therapy and medical diet therapy of Traditional Chinese Medicine – ScienceDirect