Traditional Chinese medicine
Having developed over the past 4000 years in China traditional Chinese medicine sees the human body in a dynamic balance of yin and yang, matter and energy.
Health is regarded as balance and smooth flow of energy (qi, pronounced cheeh) in the organs and channels (meridians) of the body.
Disease happens when the dynamic balance has been disturbed and the flow of qi impeded, resulting in dysfunction and pain.
TCM aims to correct these imbalances and optimize the flow of qi, preferably before more serious symptoms occur.
The tools of TCM
Treatment methods include the better known acupuncture and herbal therapy, but also specific dietary advice, harmonising exercises (Qi Gong) and massage (Tuina).
To choose the right treatment strategy first a diagnosis has to be made using information from the patient’s history, symptoms and examination of pulse and tongue.
If acupuncture is chosen, very thin disposable needles (0.16 – 0.25mm) are inserted into specific points on the body`s network of meridians in order to rebalance the flow of energy.
If successful, this will result in pain relief and improvement of internal conditions.
Very often ear-acupuncture is used to focus on certain areas of the body, influence hormonal or psychlological points or to treat addictions.
Another way of stimulating acupuncture points is the use of heat by either burning so called moxa (dried Artemisia herb) directly on the point or using indirect heat by burning a "moxa-cigar" (charcoaled Artemisia herb) 1 cm above the point.
This method warms the body, recharges energies and relaxes.
Chinese herbal therapy
If Chinese herbal therapy is chosen, plants or parts of them (e.g. flowers, seeds, roots, leaves) are prescribed with properties that match the specific imbalance of the patient.
The prescription can be prepared as a decoction (tea) from dried herbs or from concentrated herbal powders (which can be ordered to be pressed into tablet form). Sometimes it is possible to use ready-made pills or tablets that match common conditions.
If necessary acupuncture and herbal medicine are combined to increase effectiveness.