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The Different Types Of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) dates as far back as 2700 B.C.  Although it has evolved and spread over time, the original practices have actually changed very little over the centuries. There are several types of TCM. The most commonly known and practiced types are acupuncture, herbal medicine, Chinese massage and Qigong (or vital energy).


Acupuncture is perhaps the most well known and widely used type of Chinese medicine. Acupuncture involves the use of needles, which are placed at specific points and left in the body for a short period of time. With proper needle placement, it is believed that the body releases endorphins and engages nerve endings in the body. This helps to block pain and restore the body’s functions for optimal health.  Some acupuncturists also incorporate the use of heated herbs as part of their practice. 

Chinese Massage

Chinese massage involves the manual manipulation of the muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments in the body. When done properly Chinese massage can promote proper circulation which is essential to good health. The rolling movements and pressure treat injuries and help promote healing.  Massage as part of TCM helps to balance yin and yang.  This balance helps to stabilize emotions and improve mental health.

Herbal Medicine

The herbal medicines in TCM are used by practitioners in a variety of ways. They are typically blended in a specific combination to treat many ailments that can afflict the body. The herbal medicine may be found in various forms including teas, pills, extracts, powders, or pastes.


Qigong is a series of movements and postures that utilize the body’s qi.  Qi (sometimes called “chi”) is the vital energy or life force that connects the entire being. The breathing and postures work to restore the body’s flow of Qi.  This helps prevent disease and improves overall wellbeing.

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