Traditional Chinese medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine, unlike western medicine does not seek to cure diseases, but to take care of the overall wellbeing. It was used for millennials in China and is more and more common in the world. It is mainly based on 2 main elements : The Qi and the Yin and the Yang. The Qi is the belief that a vital energy runs through the body of all things. The Yin and the Yang are two opposites that describe qualities of the Qi: The Yin is synonym of darkness, cold, femininity, whereas the Yang represents light, warmth, positivity, and masculinity. Traditional Chinese medicine seeks to promote the good flow of Qi and maintain the balance of the Yin and the Yang through multiple disciplines.

Medicinal herbs or Chinese pharmacopoeia

Medicinal herbs are used as much as a preventive way than a curative way. This is the privileged approach to traditional Chinese medicine, considered more powerful than other methods. Thousands of substances exist, but 300 are commonly used. Traditionally, they deal with any ailments, but their prescription has to be specific to each individual. Chinese pharmacopoeia is still very unknown to the West which uses it to deal with an illness that do not respond well to classic treatments, such as chronic pain, allergies, menopause problems, arthritis, stress symptoms, fatigue, and digestive problems.

Traditional Chinese herbs in jars on a shelf
Chinese pharmacopoeia store

Acupuncture and moxibustion

Acupuncture is probably the most well-known discipline. It consists of inserting needles into specific points of the body called Tsing, to stimulate and restore the flow of energy. Acupuncture is very useful to deal with functional pathologies, when the organ is not working properly. It is interesting to consider this method to treat allergies, ENT affections, rheumatism, digestive conditions, kidney, skin diseases, arterial hypertension, angina pectoris, or urinary incontinence. More generally, acupuncture will reduce stress, and can be useful during pregnancy for example.

Moxibustion can be extra beneficial with acupuncture. This is a technique of heat stimulation of acupuncture points. Mugwort leaves are heated near the skin with the help of a stick.

Traditionnal Chinese acupuncture session
Acupuncture can relieve digestive conditions

Chinese diet

This is first and foremost a common sense diet, which considers food as a source of energy, which will allow to readjust the energy balance of the human body. In practice, Chinese diet will advocate to eating cooked rather than raw, more cereals and less carbohydrates, more vegetables, less meat and diary products, less sugar and rice instead of bread. Finally, it recommends eating according to this saying: “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a beggar.”, which is to say to eat a good breakfast, a full lunch, and a light dinner.

Colorful and balanced traditional Chinese dish
Beef stir-fried

Traditional Chinese massage, or Tui Na

Practiced through clothing, traditional Chinese massage gathers more than 300 techniques used depending on the needs. It can help to to relax and bring an overall wellbeing. It eases pains, accelerates recovery, improve blood flow, help to heal traumas, and help to restore mobility.

traditional Chinese massage session
Chinese head massage

Chinese gymnastic, Qi gong or Tai chi

Qi gong is a traditional Chinese gymnastic and a breathing science, which base itself on the completion of slow movements. It can improve flexibility, fight stress, develop balance, and other different  effects on health like to reduce psychological distress.

traditional Chinese Tai chi practitioner in white clothing
Single whip movement in Tai chi

Cupping or suction cup medicine

You may have already seen athletes who had blue circles on their skin : this is because they had a cupping session. Cupping consists of applying suction cups on the skin to force the blood flow towards the skin. There are two types of cupping : dry and wet, to draw some blood out. Cupping can treat arthritis, pains, respiratory problems, gastric problems, headaches, or hypertension. In sport, athletes use it to stimulate respiration and recovery, or as therapy to heal pain and accidents.

suction cups on someone's back
Cupping session

Effectiveness

Traditional Chinese medicine is based on experience rather than scientific demonstration. Many studies worked on the effectiveness of the different disciplines of traditional Chinese medicine and had inconclusive results. Those disciplines are not harmful by any ways, and have many benefits for the body, but it is hard to say they can cure specific diseases. Moreover, they are of little help to heal organic diseases, when the organ itself is injured, such as with a cancer. They are a good complement to western medicine, which you need to favor in case of serious health problems. However, this represents a much higher costs. To prevent this, think of having the right coverage, and why not, try a bit of traditional Chinese medicine! Find traditional Chinese medicine centers close to you here.

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