The Chinese are an innovative people. From the compass to paper currency to gunpowder, the ancient Chinese have laid the groundwork for the inventions of the modern age. Yet, the Chinese did not only come up with physical inventions. Techniques used for healing and strengthening patients, now an alternative to Western medicine, TCM has survived through the ages to the present day.
Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) is a set of therapeutic methods used by the ancient Chinese and passed down from generation to generation. Even till today, TCM is still being widely used to help patients achieve and maintain good health.
But what exactly are the methods used? Do they really work? Let HealthLoco explain some of these TCM methods and their efficacy at improving health.
The most popular of all TCM methods, and widely used, even in the West. I’m sure you’ve seen pictures and movies of people with tiny needles sticking out of their bodies. Well, the Chinese believe that the human body contains many pressure points, each affecting a different part of the body. These are interconnected and conduct ‘Qi’ or the internal energy, throughout the body. Using these fine needles, the TCM practitioner thus manipulates the pressure points, redirecting the flow of the Qi and restoring health throughout the body and mind.
This is a lesser known TCM method, where moxa, also known as mugwort root, is burnt to produce a smoke with an acrid odour, not unlike that of cannabis. The warmth of this smoke supposedly stimulates the flow of the Qi in the body, while warming and invigorating the blood and the kidneys.
3. Tui Na Massage
Like all massages, Tui Na involves the manipulation of the body to relieve aches and stress. However, much more than that, the Chinese believe that massaging the pressure points found in the body will also help direct the flow of Qi, and with the use of ointments, can help treat chronic pain and musculoskeletal problems.
A different kind of massage, cupping consists of placing several plastic or glass cups (What else?) on the body. Actually more like jars than cups, these ‘cups’ are first warmed with a flame or similarly flammable substance, which is then placed into the cups to burn out all the oxygen. The substance is then removed and the cup placed onto bare skin, and when it cools, creates a vacuum inside. And due to the lower pressure, the cups then suctions onto the skin. Only after some bruising or red spots that appear, are the cups removed.
5. Chinese Herbs
The Chinese use a myriad of herbs and other things when it comes to treating health conditions and illnesses. These include various leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds of plants such as cinnamon bark, ginger, ginseng, licorice, and rhubarb. The Chinese also use other things such as pig’s brain(to increase intelligence) and tiger’s testicles(to increase fertility), to name a few, when making medicinal brews and teas.