ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Alternative & Natural Medicine

The 5 Modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Updated on October 30, 2012

When you think about Chinese medicine, what things come to mind? Most people think specifically about only one area of Chinese medicine, usually either herbal cures or acupuncture. That is because these are the most widely publicized aspects of Chinese medicine that people are aware of in Western culture. However, what you will come to understand if you study Traditional Chinese Medicine (also known as TCM) is that this is a medical approach that uses a variety of different methods to increase health.

Traditional Chinese Medicine takes a holistic approach to healing. This means that it doesn’t just look at one cure for a condition. Instead, this approach to medicine looks at a wide range of different life factors that could be impacting the health of the individual. Cures that are offered by practitioners of TCM can include everything from herbal cures to lifestyle changes. This holistic approach is one that Westerners are increasingly interested in as we come to understand that there are often multiple underlying causes for the physical ailments that afflict us.

Although Traditional Chinese Medicine might incorporate many, many different types of healing, there are five basic modalities that are generally considered the core healing aspects of TCM. Those five modalities are:

1.     Chinese Herbal Medicine. This is the most popular form of TCM practiced in Western cultures. It relies on a variety of different herbs and medications to help cure various ailments. There are over five thousand different herbs that have been used for centuries by traditional Chinese medicine healers. These herbs may work alone or they may be prescribed in specific combinations to resolve various medical problems. For example, ginger is used alone as a cure for nausea whereas other ailments may require more complex combinations of a variety of different herbs. It is most common for the herbs to be brewed into a Chinese herbal tea and consumed as a drink that is taken 1-3 times per day as prescribed by the doctor. Many Westerners prefer these teas to Western prescription medications because they have fewer side effects and yet may produce the same beneficial results.

2.     Changes to Diet. Although herbal teas are the dietary supplement that most people are familiar with, Traditional Chinese Medicine actually does take a holistic approach to healing through diet. There is an entire science to diet as practiced in Traditional Chinese medicine. In addition to making sure that a diet offers the proper nutrition, a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner will balance out the energy of the foods in your diet so that you aren’t eating too many cold foods or too many hot foods. Eating locally grown foods is another aspect of this dietary therapy. Working with your practitioner, you will create a diet that not only heals your immediate ailments but also results in long-term health.

3.     Acupuncture. In addition to herbal medication, another main modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine that is very common to see used by people in Western culture is acupuncture. As you probably already know, this involves inserting thin needles into specific points in the body. The goal of this treatment is to rebalance the energy in your body. Notably, there are several different acupuncture techniques that you will want to discuss with a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner before moving forward with this treatment.

4.     Medical Massage (also called Tui Na). In addition to the bodywork that is done through acupuncture, there is also medical massage practiced in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In many ways, this massage is similar to acupressure. It uses the same pressure points that are used in acupuncture but relies on massage therapy to stimulate the energy through these areas rather than using the needles used in acupuncture treatment. This is a hands-on body treatment that may be used to cure muscle aches (as with regular massage) but is generally designed to stimulate and balance the flow of energy in the body in order to promote total healing.

5.     Qigong. This is a specific type of energy healing and exercise that is practiced in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Combined with acupuncture and medical massage, this provides a well-rounded physical approach to healing the body. This form of exercise is a slow, stretching exercise that focuses as much on the inside of the body (through breathing and meditation) as it does on the outside of the body (through stretching). This is believed to have a wide range of different health benefits (much like yoga). This may be done alone (in a hands-off method) or with the assistance of your Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner (in a hands-on method). As with the other modalities, this can be used to cure immediate problems but is generally considered to be part of an overall health plan used to improve health and wellbeing throughout the course of the patient’s lifetime.

People who are interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine will find that there are many different places in the Western World where they can get assistance with one of these modalities. For example, a local herbalist can help to provide the right herbal teas and medications for curing various illnesses. Likewise, an acupuncturist can provide assistance in this particular modality. However, it is not nearly as easy to find a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner who takes the true holistic approach to healing, incorporating all of these different modalities to improve physical health. It’s worth taking the time to look for such a practitioner if you truly wish to receive the healing benefits of this form of medicine.

Source

Source

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Shahzay 3 years ago

    I have to show my appreciation to you just for risnceug me from this particular incident. As a result of surfing around throughout the online world and coming across tricks that were not beneficial, I was thinking my entire life was over. Existing devoid of the answers to the problems you've resolved through your entire site is a critical case, as well as ones that might have in a negative way affected my career if I hadn't come across your web blog. Your own competence and kindness in taking care of almost everything was very helpful. I'm not sure what I would've done if I hadn't discovered such a step like this. It's possible to now look forward to my future. Thanks so much for your professional and results-oriented help. I will not think twice to suggest the blog to anyone who desires tips on this matter.

  • profile image

    Jayna 3 years ago

    This aritcle went ahead and made my day.

  • katiem2 profile image

    katiem2 8 years ago from I'm outta here

    Qigong is a very interesting subject. Good Hub and I hope to hear more about Qigong... Peace :)

  • GojiJuiceGoodness profile image

    GojiJuiceGoodness 8 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

    I can't say I know a lot about TCM, so this hub is very helpful. I know goji berries are a part of TCM, but that's about it. Thanks for this great hub!

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)