An array of herbs and spices on a table and on shelves

What is Chinese Medicine?


In my last post of this series, I covered the topic of “What is Functional Medicine“. With this series, it is my aim to provide you with alternative medicine approaches that may potentially support you on your path of finding optimal health.

Personally, I have experienced amazing results with Chinese medicine. I experienced some health challenges that are deemed “non-curable” in the Western medicine world. Chinese medicine has cleared the pathways and restored my health. Something, which would have not been possible with conventional medicine solely. Let’s dive in.

A drawing of a tea pot with a bonsai in front of it
五玄土 ORIENTO auf Unsplash

What is Chinese Medicine?

Also called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this form of treatment has been around for thousands of years and is still largely the same in terms of its approach. The idea is that there is a vital form of life, called “Qi” cursing through the body. Imbalances to this Qi can cause sickness or disease. The opposite and complimentary forces behind the Qi are called Yin and Yang. When Yin and Yang are not in balance, it tips the overall Qi into said imbalance.

The idea of balance in order to ensure health versus disease is a key concept of TCM. The belief is that humans are microorganisms of the universe, which automatically interconnects us with its nature and makes us subject to its forces.

Tea being slowly poured into small cups
五玄土 ORIENTO auf Unsplash

How to Bring Balance to Your Body with Chinese Medicine

Balance is achieved between your internal organs and the elements fire, water, earth, wood, and metal. There are several different forms of treatment with TCM in order to re-achieve this balance:

  • Acupuncture,
  • Cupping (a glass cup that creates a vacuum on your skin),
  • Moxibustion (a form of therapy where you burn mugwort leaves close to the body),
  • Massage,
  • Herbal Remedies,
  • Movement and Concentration exercises.

Your TCM practitioner may opt to use one method or several in a combination in order to support your healing processes.

Hands massaging a body where you can only see the back
Sergey Norkov auf Unsplash


Possibly the most commonly known form of TCM is acupuncture. You basically apply small, long, hair-thin needles to different kinds of pressure points, which then allow for your Qi to flow better again and restore you back to health. In TCM, there are over 2000 different acupuncture points.

Acupuncture is believed to stimulate the central nervous system, which then releases chemicals into the muscles, your spinal cord, and brain. Through this stimulation process, your natural healing abilities may be triggered and set into motion. Out of all the “alternative” medicines out there, acupuncture has possibly received the most research and scientific attention. It is, therefore, also oftentimes recommended by conventional medicine practitioners.

A small tea cup with a tea jug on a low table
五玄土 ORIENTO auf Unsplash

When Choosing a Chinese Medicine Doctor

Be sure to choose someone you trust, that is caring, and that has received the right accreditations. Also discuss your approach with your conventional medicine doctor and find a way that allows you to receive the care in the format needed. Sometimes, Chinese herbal medicine interferes with other conventional medicine, so again be sure to check this with your doctor.

Personally, I have seen amazing results with Chinese medicine. It is particularly helpful if you are suffering from chronic pain (including headaches) or mental health challenges but can be used for a variety of health challenges. I hope this post has provided you with a bit of insight and an overview into this topic. I also hope and wish for you that you will find answers to your health challenges 🙏🏻. Beautiful cover photo by Bundo Kim on Unsplash.

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