Alexa Seleno

Traditional Chinese Medicine – Expatmedicare

Juil 15, 2023
Médecine traditionnelle chinoise

traditional chinese medicine

traditional chinese medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine, unlike Western medicine, does not seek to cure illnesses but to take care of the well-being of one in general. It has been used for millennia in China and is increasingly common around the world. It is based mainly on 2 main elements: QI and Yin and Yang. Qi is the belief that vital energy runs through the body of everything. The qualities of Qi are described by two opposites: Yin and Yang. Yin is associated with darkness, cold, negative, and femininity. Its opposite, Yang represents light, warmth, positivity and masculinity. Traditional Chinese medicine will seek to promote the good circulation of Qi and to maintain the balance of Yin and Yang through several disciplines.

Medicinal herbs or Chinese pharmacopoeia

Medicinal plants are used both preventively and curatively. This is the preferred approach of traditional Chinese medicine, considered more powerful than other methods. There are several thousand substances of which 300 are in common use. Traditionally, they are believed to be able to treat almost any ailment, but their prescription must be specific to each person. The Chinese pharmacopoeia is still very unknown in the West. It is used here to treat conditions that do not respond well to conventional treatments, such as chronic pain, allergies, menopausal problems, arthritis, symptoms of stress, fatigue and digestive problems.

chinese medicine herb jars shelf
Chinese pharmacopoeia store

Acupuncture and moxibustion

Acupuncture is probably the best known discipline. It consists of inserting needles into specific points of the body, the Tsing, to stimulate them and restore the flow of energy. Acupuncture is very useful to treat functional pathologies, when the organ does not work properly. It is interesting to consider this method for the treatment of allergies, ENT ailments, rheumatism, digestive pathologies, liver, skin diseases, arterial hypertension, angina pectoris or urinary incontinence. More generally, acupuncture will reduce stress, and can be useful during pregnancy, for example.

Acupuncture can be coupled with moxibustion. It is a technique of heat stimulation of acupuncture points. Mugwort leaves are burned close to the skin using a stick.

Traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture session
Acupuncture can relieve digestive problems

Chinese diet

It is above all a diet of common sense, which considers food as a source of energy. These make it possible to readjust the energy balance of the human being. In practice, Chinese dietetics will recommend eating cooked rather than raw, more cereals and less sugar, more vegetables, less meat, dairy products, less sugar and rice instead of wheat and bread. Finally, she recommends eating according to this saying: “Eat like a king in the morning, like a prince at noon and like a pauper in the evening”, that is to say a good breakfast, a complete lunch, and a dinner light.

Colorful and balanced Chinese dish
Stir-fried beef with vegetables

Traditional Chinese massage or Tui Na

Practiced through clothing, traditional Chinese massage brings together more than 300 techniques used according to need. It is used to relax and bring a feeling of general well-being. It relieves pain, speeds up recovery, improves blood circulation, helps heal trauma, and helps regain mobility.

Chinese medicine massage session
Chinese head massage

Chinese gymnastics, Qi gong or Tai chi

Qi gong is a traditional Chinese gymnastics and a science of breathing. It is based on the realization of slow movements. It improves flexibility, combats stress, develops balance, and various other health effects such as reducing psychological distress.

Tai chi practitioner in white dress
Single whip movement in Tai chi

Cupping or cupping medicine

You may have seen athletes who had blue circles on their skin: it’s because they did a cupping session. Cupping involves placing suction cups on the skin to force blood to the skin. There are two types of cupping: dry, or wet, to bring out a little blood. Cupping is used to treat arthritis, pain, breathing problems, gastrointestinal problems, headaches or high blood pressure. In sport, it is used for the preparation of athletes to stimulate breathing and recovery, or as therapy to treat ailments or accidents.

person with cupping on the back chinese medicine
cupping session


Traditional Chinese medicine is based on experience rather than scientific demonstration. Many studies have looked at the effectiveness of different disciplines of traditional Chinese medicine and have had unconvincing results. Its various disciplines are not harmful, and have many benefits for the body, but it is difficult to say that they can cure specific diseases. Moreover, they are of little use in curing organic diseases, when the organ itself is damaged. They are a good complement to Western medicine, which should be preferred in the event of serious health problems. However, the latter represents a much higher cost. To prevent this, remember to be well insured, and why not, try some traditional Chinese medicine! Find Chinese medicine centers near you.

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