What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine? What You Need To Know

What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese treatment (TCM) has evolved over thousands of years. TCM practitioners use a numerous mind and body practices (such as acupuncture and tai chi) and also herbal products to address health issues.

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What the Science tells About the productiveness of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture is a method in which practitioners cultivate specific points on the body, generally by inserting thin needles byways of the skin. Studies recommend that acupuncture stimulates the release of the body’s natural painkillers and impacts areas in the brain involucred in processing pain; though, a few trials recommend that real acupuncture and sham acupuncture are equally efficient, indicating a placebo final result. Results from a couple of studies, though, recommend real acupuncture could possibly help ease forms of pain that are often chronic, such as low-back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis/knee pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. It also could possibly help reduce the frequency of tension headaches and prevent migraine headaches. to get more information, see NCCIH’s acupuncture fact sheet.
Tai Chi
Tai chi combines certain postures, gentle movements, mental focus, breathing, and relaxation. exploration findings recommend that practicing tai chi may improve balance and stability in older people and those with Parkinson’s disease, lower pain from knee osteoarthritis, help people cope with fibromyalgia and back pain, and advertise the quality of life and improve mood in people with heart failure. to get more information, see NCCIH’s tai chi fact sheet.
Chinese Herbal Products
Chinese herbal products have been learned for numerous medical drawbacks, this includes stroke, heart disease, mental disorders, and respiratory diseases (such as bronchitis and the frequent cold), and a national survey showed that about one in 5 Americans use them. Because numerous studies have been of poor quality, no company conclusions may be made about their productiveness. to get more information about special herbs, see NCCIH’s Herbs at a Glance Web page. You can find extra information on botanical (plant) dietary vitamins on the Office of Dietary vitamins Web site.

What the Science tells About the security of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Reports and studies of herbal products used in TCM have discovered a multiplicity of security issues.
Some Chinese herbal products have been discovered to be infected with undeclared plant or animal material; drugs (such as the blood-thinner warfarin and the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent diclofenac); heavy metals (such as arsenic, lead, and cadmium); pesticides or compounds called sulfites, which could cause asthma or severe allergic reactions; or incorrect herbs, a few of which have caused organ hurt.
Relatively few setbacks from using acupuncture have been reported. Still, setbacks have resulted from the utilization of nonsterile needles and improper delivery of treatments. When not delivered the right way, acupuncture can cause serious prejudicial effects, this includes infections, punctured organs, collapsed lungs, and injury to the central nervous system.
Tai chi and a similar method called qi gong to appear to be secure practices. While it’s unlikely that tai chi will result in serious injury, it may have consorted with minor aches and pains. Women who are pregnant should dialogue with their health care providers before coming out tai chi, qi gong, or any other exercise program.

NCCIH-Funded Research

NCCIH is aiding studies to decide if:

TCM can treat fibromyalgia


Acupuncture can ease joint pain a cause of medical treatments for breast cancer
A tai chi program may be a feasible way to traditional cardiac rehabilitation programs in selected people.

More to Consider

If you’re considering TCM, remember to discuss this with your health care providers. Don’t use TCM to substitute or delay searching conventional care.
If you have a health situation, dialogue with your health care provider before using TCM herbal products.
Ask about the training and experience of the TCM practitioner you are considering. Most states and the District of Columbia have laws regulating acupuncture practice, and most states need certification from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental treatment. to get more information, see NCCIH’s Web page on credentials and licensing of complementary health practitioners.
If you are pregnant or nursing or are thinking of using TCM to treat a child, be mainly sure to consult your (or the child’s) health care provider.
Tell all your health care providers about any complementary or integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full image of what you do to deal with your health. This will help ensure coordinated and secure care.

For More Information

Website: nccih.nih.gov
Website: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed
Website: www.cochranelibrary.com
Website: www.nih.gov/health/clinicaltrials/
Website: projectreporter.nih.gov/reporter.cfm