How to Know if Traditional Chinese Medicine is Right For You

You may or may not have already heard of Traditional Chinese Medicine, also known as TCM, before coming to this website. If you have, it is likely because this ancient natural healing system has been seeing a resurgence in practice throughout the world, especially in Western countries. In reality though, TCM has been practiced for literally thousands of years, originating in China and developed in other parts of Asia. In fact, Traditional Chinese Medicine is still used today in clinics and hospitals throughout China and many parts of Asia as primary medical practice methods. But really, is TCM the right choice for you?

Before you make any decisions, you should know exactly what TCM is. Essentially, TCM takes a holistic view of the individual patient. Its practitioners evaluate the patient’s illness, and determine the best way to help encourage the body’s innate ability to heal itself. Using acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other treatment modalities like cupping and moxabustion (lightly burning a type of herb either directly or indirectly on the patient’s skin), Traditional Chinese Medicine works to restore the body’s natural harmony and energy. This creates a balance that ideally promotes maximum health and helps the body overcome its illnesses.

Keep in mind that there really is a wide variety of Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques— everything from acupuncture and other physical tools to adjustments in what you eat and drink. TCM practitioners evaluate individual health problems and determine the best course of action, even if it is a combination of things, like a corrective diet along with a series of acupuncture sessions.

Now, any legitimate TCM practitioner is not going to give you anything that they do not believe will help you, so even if you are interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is technically up to them to evaluate which methods will be best for you and your current condition, if any. The TCM practitioner will attempt to determine the root of your problems by talking with you about your symptoms and asking a series of questions about your medical history and past symptoms, among other things. They will then do a physical observation of your body’s current state, which often includes taking a look at your tongue (this may seem odd, but the real science behind it reveals that different parts of your tongue are related to different parts of the body, and different colors represent varying states of health). Your TCM practitioner will be able to explain what they are doing in their observation of you and why. Then they will determine if a certain Chinese medicine procedure can help you.

Acupuncture, for example, may also be a good fit for you and your body if you have a leaning towards non-invasive, natural procedures to heal your body. This means you seek out second opinions if told you need surgery, would rather eat healthier overall and exercise more than get liposuction or take diet pills, and prefer getting to the root of problems rather than simply covering up the symptoms. The needles in acupuncture may seem a bit intimidating to some (or many, for that matter), but the idea of TCM is not to cause more additional stress but to work in conjunction with the body's chi (also spelled sometimes as qi) or "energy flow", thereby helping to clear out harmful toxins from the body. The strategic placement of the needles in Traditional Chinese Medicine is simply a way to clear out these toxins and balance out your energy flow. And no, the needles do not cause infection, nor are they known to cause the significant pain that normal needles can inflict.

Affordability is of course a major factor of consideration for many people when it comes to thinking about new forms of caring for their health. The simple truth is that the exact prices of TCM sessions will vary depending on where you go and your current location, among other aspects. Fortunately, however, the prices of methods like acupuncture, cupping and herbs pale in comparison to those seen in mainstream medicine.

All in all however, it is up to you and nobody else to make your own choices about your body and your health. A lot of people turn to Traditional Chinese Medicine when they feel they have simply exhausted their other options, so if there are still other methods your really want to try first, you owe it to yourself to explore all of your options. Nevertheless, TCM has helped a lot of people and is effective without invasive procedures or potentially harmful chemicals. Just be sure to do your research and get all the information you need to make an educated, informed decision about your health. After all, life is short, and so we need to make the very best choices for our bodies.