Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on thousand years old traditions. With increased popularity, these traditional practices are used to cure many ailments. Let us look at the top 8 strange but effective Traditional Chinese Medicine practices.

8 Strange But Effective Traditional Chinese Medicine Practices

Traditional Chinese Medicine is rooted in the idea that health issues are caused by disruptions or imbalances in the body’s vital energy, or qi. Qi flows via pathways in the body known as meridians, which are linked to a particular organ. Energy imbalances disturb the normal flow of qi, and cause diseases and disharmony. Traditional Chinese medicines manipulate the energy in these channels to restore balance and create better health and wellness. As weird as it may seem, but certain TCM practices do prove very effective in curing many health conditions.

The top 8 strange but effective Traditional Chinese Medicine practices are:

  1. Acupuncture

    Acupuncture is the anchor practice and one of the most popular of the 8 strange but effective Traditional Chinese Medicine practices, which has been around for thousands of years. Acupuncture practitioners first evaluate where an individual’s qi, or life force, has stagnated or where they might feel the pain. Then they insert tiny, thin, needles in those areas to stimulate qi along the various meridians in the body for correcting the energy imbalances, improving the flow of qi, and stimulating blood flow around the affected area. Stimulation of acupuncture points not only increases circulation, but also decreases inflammation and relieves pain. It triggers the body’s natural painkillers and stimulates its natural healing response. Numerous studies have proven that acupuncture can heal many conditions like chronic pain, reduce nausea and pain in cancer patients, and improve results for women undergoing fertility treatment.

  2. Cupping

    Cupping uses plastic cups or glasses on the skin to create a vacuum for drawing blood to the surface of the skin. Cupping, too is one of the 8 strange but effective Traditional Chinese Medicine practices. This treatment feels like a massage, but leaves a series of circular bruises which last for a while. Cupping is useful for respiratory disorders, pain management, and increasing circulation. It is also believed to accelerate detoxification process, eliminate waste from the body and reduce swelling and inflammation. The positive effects of cupping have been scientifically proven and is found to effectively improve fibromyalgia pain and relieve post anesthesia nausea.

  3. Moxibustion

    One of the 8 strange but effective Traditional Chinese Medicine practices is moxibustion. It basically involves burning of the herb called mugwort over certain acupuncture points and lines of energy pathways known as meridians. The heat of this herb nourishes and strengthens qi, supports its proper flow and circulation, boosts organ function, decreases pain and promotes rapid healing. Studies have found that this technique, together with acupuncture, also decreases fatigue. Moxibustion is believed to have a “superior effect” in both the short and long term for neck pain caused by cervical spondylosis and is used by many alternative medicine healers too.

  4. Gua Sha

    A technique wherein the skin is pressed and patted with an object to create sha, i.e. a temporary petechia, is known as Gua sha. Sha forms due to the movement of blood cells from capillaries to the surrounding tissue. As weaker blood vessels disintegrate, it triggers a process called angiogenesis in which the formation of stronger and more vigorous blood vessels occurs. This allows for greater oxygen perfusion in the affected areas, more nourishment to the tissues, and a feeling of pain relief, relaxation, and well-being. It especially helps to ease the condition of people with chronic neck and lower-back pain. This may seem weird but is useful and hence is one of the 8 strange but effective Traditional Chinese Medicine practices.

  5. Tongue Diagnosis

    For tongue diagnosis, the Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner would ask the patient to stick their tongue out, but not for checking their throat. It is believed that the tongue is like a map which reveals what is happening inside the body. Tongue diagnosis is another common strange but effective Traditional Chinese Medicine practice. The root of the tongue correlates to the urinary bladder and kidneys, the middle region to the stomach and spleen, the sides to the gallbladder and liver, and the tip of the tongue to the lungs and heart. Color, spots, coating, cracks and bumps in specific areas of the tongue can indicate imbalances in the body, and represent present disease or potential future health issues. Anxiety, sleep disorders, bloating, acid reflux, constipation, food stagnation, diabetes, diarrhea, hypertension, asthma, and COPD can be identified by the Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner simply by looking at an individual’s tongue.

  6. Auriculotherapy

    Like the tongue, particular points on the external part of the ear also correspond to different organs and regions of the body. Auriculotherapy is yet another effective Traditional Chinese Medicine practice in which acupuncture and acupressure techniques are used on parts of the ear to activate certain points which can ease many health issues. The auricular points can be stimulated by applying mild pressure with the fingers, small magnets, metallic pellets, inserting acupuncture needles, or taping seeds onto the points.

  7. Chinese Herbs

    Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners also use concoctions of plant materials, like roots, bark, leaves, and flowers, to treat various health conditions. While most of these herbs are easily available in the kitchen, others are a little less common. For instance, cuttlefish bone is used to calm acid reflux since it contains calcium carbonate which reduces stomach acid. Cicada molting is used to soothe throat irritation and many skin conditions because it is made of chitin which offers antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits. Use of Chinese herbs is one of the 8 strange but effective Traditional Chinese Medicine practices However, one should proceed with caution before consuming any herb since they are not regulated, can cause or aggravate cardiac issues, interfere with prescription drugs, and can be contaminated with heavy metals or toxins. It is best to seek medical opinion before using these herbs.

  8. Qi Gong

    This technique blends “qi”, i.e. the life source energy, with “gong” which means skill through practice. Qi gong is simply a combination of exercise and meditation which uses movement, posture, breathing technique, sound, self-massage, and focused intent. The effects of qi gong on type 2 diabetes patients are promising. Qi gong also helps to lower blood pressure, thus making it one of the strange but effective Traditional Chinese Medicine practices.

    Alternative medicine and Chinese Traditional Medicine make use of many such practices, which may show effective cure for many people. These are the 8 strange but effective Traditional Chinese Medicine practices. However, as every person differs, it is best to seek medical opinion, as the severity of health problems and the individual health status is different.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 21, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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