What is Chinese Medicine?
When we are healthy, our body abounds in qi, the force that animates and informs all things. This is the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM as it is also known.
In Australia, Chinese medicine is a system of primary health care. It works holistically and is based on the belief that to be healthy, we must maintain or restore balance, harmony and order in our bodies. Rather than looking at symptoms, TCM aims to get to the root of illnesses. And rather than waiting for illness, TCM advocates a preventative approach.
The origins of Chinese Medicine go back thousands of years, and it is a complete medical system, though it follows a different model to allopathic, or western, medicine. While it recognises the same organs and structures as western medicine does, it conceives of them in terms of functional interconnected systems, and organises them differently.
A doctor of Chinese Medicine may look at your tongue and take your pulse, and ask about your lifestyle to understand what lifestyle factors are causing you to present signs of illness or imbalance. These could be stress, your diet, being overworked, macro elements such as the weather or environment, even your emotions come into play. The TCM doctor will be able to detect signs of all these and more in the consultation. The practitioner may give you acupuncture, prescribe Chinese herbal medicine, give you a remedial massage or even prescribe breathing exercises such as qi-gong.