As a practice, Traditional Chinese Medicine (or TCM) has been perpetuated for thousands of years and passed down from one practitioner to the next, preserving historical, holistic cures for all manner of ailments, including physical, mental, and emotional problems of every ilk. And these days, there are even colleges and universities that teach TCM as a major course of study. While many westerners don’t know the full scope of TCM, you might be familiar with some of the many practices included, such as acupuncture, acupressure, massage, herbalism, and tai chi, just to name a few. And you should know that there are many benefits to using TCM as an alternative to western medicine, or even as a complementary practice. Here are a few advantages to consider.
- Treat causes, not symptoms. TCM is a holistic practice, which means that the approach to treating ailments is vastly different from the methodology practiced in western medicine. Whereas western medicine often focuses on treating symptoms first, TCM practitioners examine health history, lifestyle, and a variety of symptoms in order to suss out the root causes of maladies and treat them as a whole, addressing every angle of personal health in order to increase all-around wellness.
- Avoid pharmaceuticals. Not everyone is keen on the pharmaceutical industry and the big business it represents. While pharmaceutical medications certainly have their uses, people are right to fear side effects they can produce, as well as the standards and practices that take “acceptable losses” into account when monetizing drugs.
- Enjoy alternative therapies. Western medicine is something of a one-trick pony. Symptoms are diagnosed and treated with surgery, pharmaceuticals, or surgery and pharmaceuticals. TCM, on the other hand, offers a variety of alternative options. If you have knee pain, for example, you might not want to risk surgery and you may not like the side effects of pain killers. TCM could allow you to avoid both through the use of acupuncture or other natural therapies.
- Complementary treatment. There are both benefits and drawbacks to relying on western medicine to deal with your health problems. On the one hand, having access to painkillers and antibiotics can be extremely useful, as can the advances in surgical procedures. But it’s all too easy to become addicted to pharmaceuticals without ever actually treating the root cause of your symptoms. For this reason, you should at least consider the value of TCM as a complementary form of treatment. If you’re not yet ready to make the switch completely, you still see the value of western medicine, and your insurance covers one but not the other (TCM is rarely covered), you can at least try TCM in a supplemental capacity to fill in the holes that western medicine doesn’t cover.
- A proactive approach to health. Perhaps the best recommendation for Chinese medicine is the fact that treatments are specifically tailored to you – to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. And the process allows you to take a measure of control over your personal health journey that is largely lacking in western medicine. When you know what problems you face and what you need to improve and maintain health, you can change your lifestyle, order herbal supplements from online outlets like East Earth Trade Winds, and see your TCM practitioner as needed for assistance and guidance.