Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM): Chinese Oriental Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an ancient holistic system of healing. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a range of traditional medical practices originating in China that developed over several thousand years. In fact, TCM is a modern compilation of traditional Chinese medicine.

TCM practices include theories, diagnosis and treatments such as herbal medicine, acupuncture and massage; often Qigong is also strongly affiliated with TCM. TCM is a form of so-called Oriental medicine, which includes other traditional East Asian medical systems such as traditional Japanese, and Korean medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is based on the notion of harmony and balance, and employing the ideas of moderation and prevention. Much of the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine derived from the same philosophical bases that contributed to the development of Taoist philosophy, and reflects the classical Chinese belief that individual human experiences express causative principles effective in the environment at all scales. TCM theory is based on a number of philosophical frameworks including the theory of Yin-yang, the Five Elements, the human body Meridian system, Zang Fu organ theory, and others. Diagnosis and treatment are conducted with reference to these concepts. TCM does not operate within a western scientific paradigm but some practitioners make efforts to bring practices into a biomedical and evidence-based medicine framework. Diagnostics in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)/ Chinese Oriental MedicineFollowing the macro philosophy of disease, traditional Chinese diagnostics are based on overall observation of human symptoms rather than “micro” level laboratory tests. There are four types of TCM diagnostic methods: observe, hear and smell, ask about background and touching. The pulse-reading component of the touching examination is so important that Chinese patients may refer to going to the doctor as “Going to have my pulse felt”. Modern practitioners in China often use a traditional system in combination with Western methods.

Techniques in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)/ Chinese Oriental Medicine

• Palpation of the patient’s radial artery pulse (Pulse diagnosis) in six positions
• Observation of the appearance of the patient’s tongue
• Observation of the patient’s face
• Palpation of the patient’s body (especially the abdomen) for tenderness
• Observation of the sound of the patient’s voice
• Observation of the surface of the ear
• Observation of the vein on the index finger on small children
• Comparisons of the relative warmth or coolness of different parts of the body
• Observation of the patient’s various odors
• Asking the patient about the effects of his problem
• Anything else that can be observed without instruments and without harming the patient

The below methods are considered as part of the Chinese medicine treatment:

1. Chinese herbal medicine
2. Acupuncture and Moxibustion
3. Die-da or Tieh Ta
4. Chinese food therapy
5. Tui na – massage therapy
6. Qigong and related breathing and meditation exercise
7. Physical exercise such as T’ai Chi Ch’uan and other Chinese martial arts
8. Mental health therapy such as Feng shui and Chinese astrology

Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) is notably different from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The Nationalist government elected to abandon and outlaw the practice of CCM as it did not want China to be left behind by scientific progress. For 30 years, CCM was forbidden in China and several people were prosecuted by the government for engaging in CCM. In the 1960’s, Mao Zedong finally decided that the government could not continue to outlaw the use of CCM. He commissioned the top 10 doctors (M.D.’s) to take a survey of CCM and create a standardized format for its application. This standardized form is now known as TCM.


Rolfing/ Rolf therapy/ Structural Integration is a massage technique using deep manipulation of the fascia (connective tissue) to restore the body’s natural alignment.

The word Rolfing was coined from the surname of Ida Rolf. Dr. Ida Pauline Rolf (1896-1979) developed this method in 1950s. According to Rolf, bound up fascia (or ‘connective tissue’) often restricts opposing muscles from functioning independently from each other, much as when water, having crystallized, forms the hard, unyielding ice. In her practice Rolfing, she aimed to separate the bound up fascia by deeply separating the fibers manually so as to loosen them up to allow effective movement patterns. During a Rolfing session, the patient generally lies down and is guided through specific movements. During these, the Rolfer manipulates the fascia until it returns to its original length. This takes place over the course of 10 one-hour sessions, with a specific goal for each session, creating cumulative results.

Benefits of Rolfing

Rolfing improves posture by bring the body’s natural structure into correct alignment. It is helpful in general aches and pains, physical and mental stress, chronic back, neck, shoulder, and joint pain, and repetitive stress injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome etc…

Side Effects in Rolfing Therapy

There are no reported serious side effects associated with Rolfing when delivered by a certified practitioner to adults and juveniles.


People with kidney disease, liver and intestinal disease and pregnant women should consult their physician before beginning Rolfing.


The word Chiropractic derived from a Greek word meaning “done by hand,” refers to a method of health care that stresses the relationship between structure and function in the body.

Chiropractic is a system of therapy in which disease is considered the result of abnormal function of the nervous system. The method of treatment usually involves manipulation of the spinal column and other body structures. To achieve this, the practitioner uses his or her hands or an adjusting tool to perform specific manipulations of the vertebrae. When these bones of the spine are not correctly articulated, resulting in a condition known as subluxation, the theory is that nerve transmission is disrupted and causes pain and illness manifested in the back as well as other areas of the body.

History of Chiropractic

Chiropractic is a form of spinal manipulation, which is one of the oldest healing practices. Spinal manipulation was described by Hippocrates in ancient Greece. Chiropractic was developed by Daniel David Palmer in 1895, he believed that 95% of all health problems could be prevented or treated using adjustments of the spine (spinal adjustments), and 5% by adjustment of other joints, to correct what he termed vertebral subluxations. He, and his son B.J. Palmer, proposed that subluxations were misaligned vertebrae which caused nerve compression that interfered with the transmission of what he named Innate Intelligence. Doctors of chiropractic, who are also called chiropractors or chiropractic physicians, use a type of hands-on therapy called manipulation (or adjustment) as their core clinical procedure.

The basic concepts of chiropractic can be described as follows:

• The body has a powerful self-healing ability.
• The body’s structure (primarily that of the spine) and its function are closely related, and this relationship affects health.
• Chiropractic therapy is given with the goals of normalizing this relationship between structure and function and assisting the body as it heals.

Chiropractic Schools College Institute Office/ Training/ Certification Chiropractic training is a 4-year academic program consisting of both classroom and clinical instruction. At least 3 years of preparatory college work are required for admission to chiropractic schools. Students who graduate receive the degree of Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) and are eligible to take state licensure board examinations in order to practice. Some schools also offer postgraduate courses, including 2- to 3-year residency programs in specialized fields. The Council on Chiropractic Education, an agency certified by the U.S. Department of Education, is the accrediting body for chiropractic colleges in the United States.

Side effects in chiropractic treatment:

Patients may or may not experience side effects from chiropractic treatment. Effects may include temporary discomfort in parts of the body that were treated, headache, or tiredness. These effects tend to be minor and to resolve within 1 to 2 days. Health insurance and chiropractic treatment Compared with CAM therapies as a whole (few of which are reimbursed), coverage of chiropractic by insurance plans is extensive. As of 2002, more than 50 percent of health maintenance organizations (HMOs), more than 75 percent of private health care plans, and all state workers’ compensation systems covered chiropractic treatment. Chiropractors can bill Medicare, and over two dozen states cover chiropractic treatment under Medicaid. If you have health insurance, check whether chiropractic care is covered before you seek treatment. Your plan may require care to be approved in advance, limit the number of visits covered, and/or require that you use chiropractors within its network


Shiatsu is a kind of therapeutic massage where pressure is applied with the thumbs and palms on the areas of the body as in acupuncture.

Definition of Shiatsu

“Shiatsu technique refers to the use of fingers and palm of one’s hand to apply pressure to particular sections on the surface of the body for the purpose of correcting the imbalances of the body, and for maintaining and promoting health. It is also a method contributing to the healing of specific illnesses.” Japanese medical department of the Ministry of Welfare (Current Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare) in December 1957 This manipulative therapy Shiatsu developed in Japan. It is the incorporation of anma (Japanese traditional massage), acupressure, stretching, and Western massage. In Shiatsu pressure is applied on specific areas or special points on the body to sustain physical and mental well being or treat disease. Shiatsu reduces stress and alleviates nausea and vomiting. It also improves circulation and the immune system. Shiatsu also proved helpful in treating diarrhea, indigestion, constipation, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract; menstrual and menopausal problems; chronic pain; migraine; arthritis; toothache; anxiety; and depression; neck and back pain; insomnia. The Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare acknowledged shiatsu as a beneficial treatment, and licensing was established for practitioners. Side effectsWhen performed properly, shiatsu is not associated with any significant side effects.

Education/ Certification/ Standardization in Shiatsu therapy

Tokujiro Namikoshi founded the Japan Shiatsu College in 1940 and systematized a form of Shiatsu therapy based more on Western anatomy than traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine.  In Japan, anyone who practices Shiatsu therapy must be licensed with the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Shiatsupractors are required to study at least three years/2,200 hour educational program of Shiatsu therapy in the universities or colleges which authorized by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and pass the national exam to be licensed. In the U.S., one professional organization for Asian Bodywork Therapy (including Shiatsu) is the AOBTA (American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia). This organization is seeking statewide standardization of Asian Bodywork licensure requirements. To date, the AOBTA has been named specifically in the licensure laws of Illinois and Washington, DC. The AOBTA is also working with the NCCAOM (National Certification Council for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) to introduce mandatory, standardized national board certification to the profession.

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