Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

What is Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine - Toronto Total Wellness Centre The term "Chinese Medicine" refers to a number of practices, especially acupuncture and herbal formulas and their theoretical basis. Chinese Medicine also includes Tuina/Shiatsu massage therapy, diet counselling and modification, and lifestyle counselling. Traditionally, the theory of Chinese Medicine was a theory of nature, health and disease. The forces underlying the theory are described as:

  • Yin and Yang;
  • The Three Essences;
  • Five Elements;
  • Eight Principles of Therapy; and,
  • The Fourteen Meridians.

When all of the underlying forces and systems are in harmony and balance, health can be achieved and maintained.


The practice and teaching of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is more than 5000 years old. The earliest text on the subject, The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (Huang Ti Nei Jing Su Wen Ling Shu'), said to be written in the 1st and 2nd centuries BC, is still relevant to the teaching of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine today. Is TCM and Acupuncture right for me?

Scientific theory and investigations in recent history have added to our understanding of the physiological mechanisms that may contribute to the acupuncture effect, and to our understanding of the pharmacological basis of Chinese herbal medicine. However, the unifying framework of this form of holistic therapy was developed and refined during 5000 years of clinical application in China and many Asian countries.

The major theoretical foundations of this science remain unchanged. Its continued evolution as a therapeutic system, in view of the impact of Western medical practices, attests to the effectiveness of this method of treatment and the soundness of the ancient theoretical basis of diagnosis and practice that are used by the traditionally trained practitioner. Interested in more acupuncture history?

Is Acupuncture Right For Me?
Acupuncture has been part of healthcare for millions of people over thousands of years. More recently modern scientific standards have been applied to assessing the effectiveness of acupuncture. After considerable research, the Nation Institutes of Health (NIH) and The World Health Organization (WHO) agree acupuncture is an effective treatment for many illnesses.

TCM Around the World Today.
Doctors combine Chinese and Western medicine treatments in many hospitals across Asia. Recently, a few hospitals and centres across North America have opened in-house acupuncture clinics or recommend the practice of acupuncture to their patients.

While these clinics limit the scope of their practice to such areas as pain treatment and management, TCM is used in Asia to treat far more ailments.
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