Traditional Chinese Medicine is the oldest, continually practiced medicine in existence. It is one of the two main types of comprehensive medical systems used around the globe along with Western Biomedicine. Although seen as an alternative to many people in the western hemisphere, it is considered traditional and the standard medicine practiced in many Asian countries. TCM is becoming more and more recognized and regulated outside of Asia and is one of the most integrated healing systems. Modern TCM has 4 main modalities: Acupuncture, Herbal Therapy, Tuina and Diet/Lifestyle counselling. However, in the west this medicine is often called Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Herbal medicine includes substances from the plant, animal, and mineral kingdoms. Historical records on its use date back more than 2,000 years. There are over 1800 medicinals documented along with thousands of herbal formulas and combinations. Substances have been used in the form of decoctions, pills, powders, infusions, liquors, steams, washes, liniments, boluses and oils throughout history. Because of the diversity of climates in China and the plagues and pestilences it has endured throughout its history, herbal prescriptions have been developed for all the varied ailments known to humankind. Herbal medicine is very safe if prescribed by a qualified practitioner without the adverse/side effects commonly experienced using pharmaceuticals. Also, herbal medicine stimulates the body’s ability to produce what is needed to maintain homeostasis (balance) rather than replacing vital substances synthetically.