Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete system of healthcare that originated in ancient China. While it is frequently referred to as alternative medicine, it is only "alternative" here in the western world; for thousands of years it has been a primary method of healthcare in Asia, where it is now practiced side-by-side with western medicine in major hospitals and clinics.

What makes Traditional Chinese Medicine powerful and unique is that it approaches health and wellness from a very different perspective. Rather than looking at the body as a "machine" where the focus is on fixing a single part that is broken, Chinese medicine looks at each person's body, mind, and spirit as a unique "ecosystem" where many subsystems, each with their own internal equilibrium, affects and is affected by the others. This view makes every person a unique case, and it's why five people with the same symptom might receive five different TCM treatments, each tailored to address the unique "ecosystem" out of which the symptom arose. It's also what makes TCM effective for many chronic conditions that have no clear explanation or diagnosis.

The strength of Western medicine is in its ability to zoom in on the smallest individual cause of a symptom; the power of Chinese medicine is its ability to view wellness from many different angles and seek the underlying causes of disease states. Chinese medicine does not focus on the mechanism of a particular condition; it asks the question, "What put this particular person's body in a state where this condition could arise in the first place?" It's a subtle but powerful difference that makes Traditional Chinese Medicine truly integrative medicine.

This is why you'll hear a lot about balance in Traditional Chinese Medicine. When the underlying imbalances that lead to illness are corrected, two things happen. First, the illness is addressed; the body is an extraordinary self-correcting system when it is working smoothly. More importantly, though, as the body returns to full function we are less likely to develop health problems in the future, and more able to be fully engaged in life and personal growth. Patients often report thriving in ways they never expected, long after the symptoms that brought them in the door have resolved. Traditional Chinese Medicine is not just preventative medicine; it's proactive medicine.

Please visit the following articles for more information about Chinese Medicine treatment methods:

See the FAQ for more information about acupuncture and other aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine.