A General Overview on Traditional Chinese Medicine and How it Works

by | Apr 15, 2019 | All Posts, Services | 0 comments

Even if you yourself don’t use it, you probably have had some exposure to some forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Whether it’s a friend who talks about how they use herbal teas to help alleviate their pain or a co-worker who goes to their acupuncturist regularly, these are still very much in use today. For all of our advances in modern medicine, there is no denying that Traditional Chinese Medicine still has its place in our society today.

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Acupuncture treatment for neck and shoulder pain - A General Overview on Traditional Chinese Medicine and How it Works
Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, refer to a variety of traditional treatments that utilize a combination of physical and herbal remedies to treat health conditions. TCM works by using the foundation of Chinese medicine in how it approaches health conditions.

TCM is founded on the idea of balance and energy as well as how it affects us physically. The balance of energy in our body, which is referred to as “Qi”, is represented by the Yin and Yang forces. In order to maintain your health and continue to be physically fit, the balance of Qi in your body must always remain in balance.

Too much or too little of the Yin and Yang in your body is what causes health issues. The basic idea of TCM is to use certain techniques to help restore the natural flow of Qi in the body.

What are the Different Forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine?

The thing about TCM is that it is not a one-size-fits-all form of treatment. TCM practitioners take the time to examine each and every case to determine the best course of treatment for the condition at hand. There are plenty of techniques under the TCM blanket term, but here are a few of the most common ones that are still practiced today.


Acupuncture is the most well-known form of TCM that is still being used today. It involves inserting needles into the skin to manipulate the meridians in the body to help restore the natural flow of Qi in the body. It is usually used in the treatment of certain pain disorders.

Herbal Remedies

Aside from acupuncture, herbal remedies are still very much in use today. Whether it’s used as a nutrition supplement or as a way to treat certain health conditions, herbal remedies are used all over the world as a form of natural medication. These can be taken as teas or capsules. The blend of herbs used in this form of treatment is usually tailored to the condition being treated.

Herbal Remedies

Traditional Chinese medicine herbal decoctions - A General Overview on Traditional Chinese Medicine and How it Works
The Chinese believed that what we put into our bodies plays a huge role in our body’s health. When it comes to Chinese nutrition, the same concept of Yin and Yang is also incorporated into the food we eat. Certain types of food contain Yin, which is cooling, and Yang, which is warming.

It is important to maintain a good balance of both Yin and Yang in the food that we eat in order to help maintain the Qi in our bodies. If you have a health condition, the practitioner will determine if it is a “hot” or “cool” type of condition, and will prescribe the right kind of food to eat for it. If you have a “hot” condition, like a fever, cooling types of food, like green vegetables are eaten in order to help balance it out.


Moxibustion refers to the burning of mugwort near the skin in order to draw the blood to the injured or sick areas. It is usually used along with acupuncture.

Qi Gong

Qi Gong is the execution of physical movements to help guide the body’s flow of Qi. Qi Gong also involves other techniques like Tai Chi and Meditation.


Traditional Chinese medicine herbal decoctions - A General Overview on Traditional Chinese Medicine and How it Works
Cupping involves placing warmed cups on the surface of the skin, which creates a slight suction. The concept of cupping involves drawing the toxins to the surface of the skin.

Does Traditional Chinese Medicine Work?

There is plenty of debate about the effectivity of TCM, but the simple fact of the matter is that even though it’s been around for a couple of thousand years, people still use it today, with success. If you’re considering using TCM, it’s very important to always remember that TCM is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment.

Instead, it is meant to complement your medical treatment to give you a well-rounded form of treatment to increase your chances of getting better. If you’re seriously considering the use of TCM to complement your current form of medical treatment, it’s highly recommended that you consult your doctor and other medical professionals first so that they can come up with a TCM treatment plan that won’t interfere with your current medical treatment.

Some forms of TCM, especially herbal treatments, can interfere with your medical treatments, so it’s always a good idea to talk to a professional to decide the best way to incorporate TCM into your medical treatment.

Who Can Use Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Herbal supplements for cardiovascular health - A General Overview on Traditional Chinese Medicine and How it Works
You may be wondering if you’re allowed to use TCM. As a general rule, anybody is allowed to use TCM. A large number of people turn to TCM as a form of alternative treatment or as a way to complement their current medical treatment.

However, as we’ve mentioned, it’s very important that you consult with your health provider if you’re looking to combine TCM with your current form of medical treatment. This helps guarantee that you have a well-rounded form of medical treatment and to help eliminate the risk of any side effects that may happen as a result.

How Do I Find the Right Traditional Chinese Medicine Provider?

If you’re looking for a Traditional Chinese Medicine provider, look no further than Westchester Acupuncture. We offer a variety of TCM techniques, from acupuncture to nutrition and Qi Gong. All of our staff members are fully licensed and certified to administer these treatments.

When we perform acupuncture on our patients, we use single-use, surgery sterilized needles to avoid the risk of infection during the acupuncture treatments. If you’re interested in learning more about our TCM techniques or you’re looking to request an appointment, give us a call at (917) 273-8912 or fill out our website form today!