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What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine Myth vs. Fact

There are a lot of myths I hear about Traditional Chinese Medicine, including that it is an “alternative” medicine, it only focuses on your “energy,” or that it’s a mystical, magical or religious treatment. Perhaps the myth I hear the most is that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – like acupuncture – is considered a last resort treatment when all other approaches have failed.

Chinese food is not an alternative food. The Chinese language is not an alternative language. Therefore, Chinese medicine isn’t alternative either.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is more than 3,000 years old. In fact, it’s the oldest continuous, cumulative documented medical practice. It’s a noninvasive, natural medicine that works with your own body to help it heal itself.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is understandable and measurable, but don’t just take my word for it. The World Health Organization recognized acupuncture as an effective treatment for pain, digestive disorders, chronic conditions, emotional health, respiratory issues and many others.

6 Branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine

There are six branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine that can help you reach your health goals.


Acupuncture is a physical medicine that is based on real anatomy, not energy. Acupuncture is proven effective in relieving pain, reducing inflammation and restoring homeostasis.

We expertly place special acupuncture needles in points on your body where nerves, muscles and connective tissue are densely bundled. The needle stimulates the fascia about these bundles to subtly shift and signals to the brain to correct itself.

Your entire body sees the results, including improved blood flow, stimulating the immune system and releasing the body’s natural pain relievers. As an added bonus, acupuncture also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system to improve digestion, ease constipation and promote general healing.

Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine has been around for centuries! Did you know aspirin was derived from herbal medicine? Hippocrates even prescribed willow bark for fevers. Herbal medicine can help you, too.

Chinese herbal medicine uses a combination of plants, minerals and other natural substances to create herbal formulas that are therapeutic and healing. The medicine is often ingested as a tea, powder that can be added to food, capsule or granule.

Chinese herbal medicine is an effective treatment to help our body overcome illness, pain or emotional distress. It’s also typically used for constipation, sleep and anxiety.


Like herbal medicine, cupping has also been used for many years to alleviate muscle pain and enhance recovery. Cupping is the opposite of massage, but it is just as soothing.

The cups pull your skin upward, creating a gentle suction to help relax your muscles. Because of the suction created by the cups, your deepest muscles get the relief. Cupping improves blood flow to reduce pain, tension and decrease inflammation.

Tui Na

This massage technique is considered by many as the oldest system of bodywork. Tui Na (pronounced twee-nah) is a therapy that balances your qi, which is your body’s energy source. When your qi is blocked, your body reacts with pain or illness.

Tui Na targets specific points on your body, much like acupuncture. But, instead of using needles, practitioners use their fingers to work your muscle trigger points. It works on a deeper level than a traditional massage, because not only does it target your muscles, but it also helps balance the emotional and physical components of your body to give you overall well-being.

Food Therapy

We all know how important balanced nutrition and proper diets are to overall health and wellness. Traditional Chinese Food Therapy takes it a step further than western nutrition by helping you understand the properties of food and how they react to your specific condition. Not all bodies, illnesses or symptoms are the same. Traditional Chinese Food Therapy takes your individual conditions into consideration.


Our body heals when the mind is calm, which is why the key to overall health is to also treat our mind. This is where Quigong comes in. Quigong include techniques and movements to clear our mind and includes poses, stretches and guided mediation.

Ready to Learn More?

Traditional Chinese Medicine in the West Metro of the Twin Cities, MN

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been around for more than 3,000 years as a proven medical practice that treats the entire body and mind. Are you ready to get started?

TCM Wellness Acupuncture Clinic is located in the West Metro of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. We serve Excelsior, Mound, Spring Park, Minnetonka, Minnetrista, Orono, Shorewood, Tonka Bay, Long Lake, Deephaven, Chanhassen, Maple Plain, and the greater Twin Cities area.

We offer a complimentary health assessment to help you better understand how Traditional Chinese Medicine practices can address your health and well-being. Contact us to learn more.

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