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What is TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)
With a history of over 3000 years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has formed a unique system to diagnose and cure illness.
The TCM approach is fundamentally different from that of Western medicine. In TCM, the understanding of the human body is
based on the holistic understanding of the universe as described in Daoism, and the treatment of illness is based primarily on the
diagnosis and differentiation of syndromes.
The TCM approach treats Zang--fu organs as the core of the human body. Tissue and organs are connected through a network of
channels and blood vessels inside human body. Qi acts as some kind of carrier of information that is expressed externally through
Jing-Luo system. Pathologically, a dysfunction of the zang-fu organs may be reflected on the body surface through the network,
and meanwhile, diseases of body surface tissues may also affect their related zang or fu organs. Affected zang or fu organs may also
influence each other through internal connections. Traditional Chinese medicine treatment starts with the analysis of the entire
system, and then focuses on the correction of pathological changes through readjusting the functions of the zang-fu organs.
Evaluation of a syndrome not only includes the cause, mechanism, location, and nature of the disease, but also the confrontation
between the pathogenic factor and body resistance. Treatment is not based only on the symptoms, but differentiation of
syndromes. Therefore, those with an identical disease may be treated in different ways, and on the other hand, different diseases
may result in the same syndrome and are treated in similar ways.
The clinical diagnosis and treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine are mainly based on the Yin-Yang and Five element theories.
These theories apply the phenomena and laws of nature to the study of the physiological activities and pathological changes of the
human body and its interrelationships. The typical TCM therapies include acupuncture, herbal medicine, and Qi-gong exercises.
With acupuncture, treatment is accomplished by stimulating certain areas of the external body. Herbal medicine acts on zang-fu
organs internally, while Qi-gong tries to restore the orderly information flow inside the network through the regulation of Qi. These
therapies appear very different in approach yet they all share the same underlying sets of assumptions and insights in the nature of
the human body and its place in the universe.
The Definitions of "Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists
Regulation" in British Columbia of Canada says:
"Traditional Chinese medicine" means the promotion, maintenance and restoration of
health and prevention of a disorder, imbalance or disease based on traditional Chinese
medicine theory by utilization of the primary therapies of:
(a) Chinese acupuncture (Zhen), moxibustion (Jiu) and suction cup (Ba Guan);
(b) Chinese manipulative therapy (Tui Na);
(c) Chinese energy control therapy (Qi Gong);
(d) Chinese rehabilitation exercises such as Chinese shadow boxing (Tai Ji
(e) prescribing, compounding or dispensing Chinese herbal formulae (Zhong Yi
Chu Fang) and Chinese food cure recipes (Shi Liao).