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What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Posted Oct 18 2010 1:06pm

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a comprehensive medical system comprised of a range of traditional therapies including: Acupuncture, acupressure, moxibustion, herbal medicine, nutrition, tui na massage, and exercises (tai chi and qigong).
TCM has been practiced in Asia for more than 2,000 years. Chinese immigrants began practicing TCM in the United States in the 1820s. Most Americans became aware of TCM through the practice of acupuncture during the 1970s. Today, acupuncture and other TCM practices are mainstream alternative medicine therapies.
In contrast with the Western anatomical model which views the body as individual parts, the TCM model emphasizes the body’s functions. TCM is based on the concept that the human body contains a set of interconnected systems, which maintain healthy function through the balance of yin and yang, or opposing energies, and the natural flow of qi, the body’s vital energy.
When yin and yang are out of balance or there is an imbalance or blockage of qi flow through the body’s energy pathways (meridians), your health is negatively affected. Disease in TCM theory is caused by external or environmental factors, emotions and lifestyle habits such as poor nutrition.
TCM diagnostics are based on symptom observation. The practitioner utilizes TCM therapies to rebalance yin and yang by restoring the natural flow of qi. Traditional Chinese medicine also tailors therapy to harmonize emotions and the spirit (shen). Through its various modalities, TCM enhances the body’s healing abilities.
Some of the conditions TCM treats include • Acute and chronic pain conditions.
• Stress.
• Sleep disorders.
• Arthritis.
• Addictions.
There are more than 50 Oriental medicine training programs in the United States. Acupuncture & Massage College offers a Master’s Degree in Oriental Medicine program and a Massage Therapy certificate program with a Shiatsu specialization. For program information call Joe Calareso, Admissions Director, at (305) 595-9500.

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