“Western medicine is difficult to understand but easy to practice.
Traditional Chinese medicine is easy to understand but difficult to practice.”
– – Dr. John H. F. Shen
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) originated between 2000 and 7000 years ago, and has
developed into a complete medical system encompassing a wide range of treatment
modalities. Drawn from a millennia of empirical observation, these theories and treatments
have been honed and refined over time and consolidated into five areas or “branches”. The
five clinical branches of TCM are: acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, dietary therapy,
and qi gong.
Chinese medical theory recognizes the correlation between the rhythms and changes
occurring in our environment and those occurring in our bodies and minds. TCM is a holistic
approach to diagnosing and treating patients, taking into account each individual’s physical,
mental, emotional, and spiritual state, with the aim of restoring and maintaining balance and
Imbalances may occur as a result of stress, poor diet, trauma, environmental influences,
heredity, overwork and emotional disturbances. The practitioner focuses on correcting the
blockages and imbalances created by these factors, thereby preventing disease and
promoting health and well-being.
Pain relief through acupuncture is perhaps the best-known aspect of Chinese medicine. But
pain relief is only a small part of acupuncture, and acupuncture is only a small part of Chinese
Chinese herbal medicine and diet therapy are based on the theories and principles of TCM,
and are very important aspects of Chinese medicine. Qi gong (a form of exercise and
meditation) and massage/bodywork are additional ways in which to remove blockages and
promote the circulation of qi and blood. The smooth flow of qi and blood are key to good