Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient form of healthcare that dates back over 2,500 years and includes natural treatments such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, dietary advice, stress/emotional support, exercise including tai chi and qi gong and treatments such as cupping and moxibustion. TCM along with Ayurveda two of the oldest and most renowned forms of ancient medicine in the world and are returning quickly in popularity. TCM practitioners look to treat the root cause of disease and take a holistic approach to helping people experience complete healing without the use of conventional drugs.
Over the past several decades, Eastern alternative (also called complementary or integrated) medicine practices have continued to be adopted by conventional medical establishments in the U.S. and other Western nations. The Department of Complementary-Alternative Medicine at Medical University of South Carolina reports that according to a study of 3,200 physicians conducted by Health Products Research, more than 50 percent of physicians in the U.S. planned to begin or increase use of alternative medicines, including those rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), within the following year.
More and more medical schools are now recognizing the importance of training students and staff in “mind-body” practices that emphasize disease prevention and holistic treatments. Although some physicians and patients tend to be skeptical about the effectiveness of many TCM practices, research continues to show that complementary modalities can make a big difference in many patients’ quality of life.
Several of the advantages that Traditional Chinese Medicine and other Eastern practices have to offer include a high level of patient compliance (often due to patients noticing improvements in their symptoms quickly), reduced stress levels, natural pain management, improved sleep, stronger immunity and decreased need for medications.