Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is part of the alternative systems of medicine in the West, but is the standard of medicine in about half the world.
TCM has within it practices like the well known (acupuncture and herbal medicine) and the less known like dietary therapy, tui na massage, qigong, and moxibustion (the burning of herbs on specific body points).
It is good to remember that it is the mainstream medical care throughout the East.
TCM theory began over a thousand years ago. It was developed through centuries of meticulous observation of nature, the cosmos, and the way the human body interacts with all of these.
A basic difference between TCM and western medicine is that TCM works on a “black box” principle of investigation.
For example if we do “X” to the body, we will see effect “Y” and we never try, nor even care to see what is in the black box of the body to lead to this result.
This is in direct opposition to the Western investigation methodology of “cracking the box,” e.g. figuring out the exact cause.
One could say that TCM is more concerned with getting things fixed than figuring out exactly why they broke, but that is a bit of an oversimplification.
Keep in mind that TCM is a very complex and multi layered system of medicine and is best accessed through an experienced practitioner well known throughout the community.
Great results can be had using TCM, especially in the case of ongoing chronic conditions, such as diabetes or lupus, for which Western medicine has few helpful answers.