TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine, is the second oldest known form of holistic medicinal practice (with Ayurvedic medicine being the first). TCM is still being used by millions of people today and is becoming increasingly popular in the Western world as people look for more natural solutions to harsh prescription drugs. There are multiple aspects of TCM, ranging from exercise to herbal remedies. TCM focuses on finding a balance both internally and externally to maintain a healthy life.
Acupuncture in Traditional Chinese Medicine
On a most basic level, acupuncture is the insertion of needles into specific points of the body to relieve problems such as pain, acne, nausea, and more. The true definition is far more complicated. TCM revolves around the belief of balance, or yin and yang. Everything in the universe has an opposite, and the balance must be maintained. The human body contains Qi, or chi, and this too, must be balanced. If your Qi is not in balance, then you can experience pain. Acupuncture helps to reset or rebalance your Qi and thus eliminate the physical issues you might be experiencing. Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular in the West, and you can find a licensed acupuncturist by searching online. If you are cash-strapped, many acupuncture schools will offer a discount if you see an acupuncture trainee rather than a fully licensed practitioner.
Tai chi is a gentle martial art that can be practiced by a wide range of people of all ages and physical strength levels. While it is thought that tai chi was originally created as a form of self-defense, it has become an almost meditative form of exercise that focuses on slow, deliberate movements. It is recommended that one practice tai chi every day to achieve the maximum benefits of the practice. But this doesn’t mean you need to do it for an hour every single day! Simply 15 minutes a day can help boost your mental faculties, help maintain a sense of calm, and therefore bring balance to your Qi.
There are a wide range of herbal treatments in TCM for just about any ailment you can think of. Not all of these herbal remedies are recommended, or even legal. TCM believes that the horns of rhinoceros can help with erectile dysfunction, rheumatism, and arthritis. Rhinos are endangered, partly due to the use of their horns in traditional medicine, and this practice unfortunately still continues. It is important to research the ingredients of any herbal remedies you are considering purchasing. It would also be beneficial to see a doctor who specialize in TCM to lead you to the proper herbal remedy for your particular issue, without veering into dangerous or even illegal offerings.
TCM has many different regulations in regards to the diet, including a list of foods that one should not ingest. These guidelines are supposed to prevent the body from becoming too “damp,” or dry, on the inside. There is an internal balance and eating too much of one thing, or forbidden foods, can cause unbalance in the body which can lead to a variety of ailments. One of the most fun aspects of a TCM-approved diet is that you should eat a variety of foods and flavors—not too much of any one thing. This variety makes it fun and easy to eat healthily and maintain a balance of the body.