Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Seeing and treating people as a whole is the principle of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – for over 4,000 years. It includes a wide range of treatment methods such as herbal medicine,  Qigong  and of course  acupuncture , which has become particularly well established in pain therapy and  allergies  . In Germany, an estimated 40,000 doctors and numerous non-medical practitioners are trained in acupuncture, and the trend is rising. What else does Traditional Chinese Medicine have to offer?

Traditional Chinese Medicine: holistic approach

Traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM for short, got its name from the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to separate it conceptually from western scientific medicine – also known as conventional medicine. It is psychology, philosophy and medicine in one, almost independent of machines and economical.

Most of the statutory health insurance companies cover the costs of acupuncture at least partially within the framework of “model projects”, the private health insurance companies cover them according to the guidelines laid down by the legislature.

Qi – the life energy

According to old Chinese ideas, based on observations of sick and healthy people, Chinese doctors assumed an  energy flowing in the body  , called Qi (pronounced “Chee”), which permeates the regions lying under the skin and into the deeper tissues of the body reaches in. These pathways run through the body like a network. They are energetic processes that cannot be made visible. Simply put, Qi is the life energy of man. The Qi with its components Yin and Yang flows on the meridians from the center of the body to the ends of the extremities and back.

Yin and Yang  are the two life-sustaining forces – they are simultaneously effective in the body as opposite poles. Their balance represents the ideal state of health, their imbalance leads to ailments and disease. The doctor wants to recognize the energetic situation in which the patient is, to understand the Qi distribution in order to be able to assess it correctly in the event of an illness and to initiate appropriate measures.

Good results with acupuncture

“Nearly 85 percent of acupuncture patients report that their symptoms improved after therapy. Almost all of them suffered from chronic diseases, most commonly  back painheadaches  and respiratory diseases.” This is what it says literally in an acupuncture study by the health insurance companies – encouraging numbers. The evaluation of a long-term study by the University of Freiburg showed that, on average, patients had been ill for seven years when they began acupuncture treatment. The study is based on 11,149 acupuncture sessions. *

Acupuncture is used for more than 85 percent of chronic diseases, including:

Acupuncture works both on the nervous system and on the hormones and has been proven to increase blood circulation, relax muscles and relieve pain. In addition, there is a harmonization of the psyche and the unconscious nervous system.

Acupuncture is a treatment method that is practically risk-free and free of side effects, provided it is used by  well-trained doctors and naturopaths  . Ideally, acupuncture and conventional medicine complement each other in diagnostics and therapy. Medical societies for acupuncture in Germany and Austria have set training standards and have been providing training for over 60 years. In the EU there are an estimated 80,000 doctors and numerous naturopaths who have completed training in acupuncture.

Other methods of traditional Chinese medicine

Chinese  herbal therapy  and Chinese  dietetics  are gaining more and more followers. The fact is that this method is actually the most important form of therapy in TCM. Almost all diseases, about 90 percent can be treated with herbal mixtures,  teas  and the like. There are over 7,000 medicines, the dosage and composition of which are tailored to the patient. The doctor combines different individual drugs.

The funds often only work after a longer waiting period. Herbal medicine is therefore more suitable for the treatment of chronic diseases, while conventional medicines are usually more advisable for acute symptoms. Herbology takes time to learn and experience to use.


Tuina, a special combination of  manual medicine and massage,  is not very common in Germany. With Tuina, a treatment is carried out on the points or along the meridians on the basis of the meridian and acupuncture point system. In contrast to acupuncture, the stimuli are not applied with needles, but using various manual techniques.

Qigong und Taiji (Tai Chi)

Better known to us are Qigong and Taiji, a combination of  meditation  and movement.  Qigong tries to activate the Qi and get it flowing through movement-oriented exercises. The movements are gentle, flowing and precise, and are supported by breathing, body awareness and meditation. For example, an important energy center in the lower abdomen is gradually strengthened through the exercises.

Taiji (also spelled Tai Chi), on the other hand, is a combination of martial arts with slowly executed sequences of movements with the purpose of achieving the greatest possible relaxation. Here, too, the movements are soft and flowing, they stimulate the flow of energy and promote well-being and health.

Cupping as a TCM form

Cupping  is another form of TCM: Negative pressure is created via glass beads  on the skin from which air is extracted – they are usually located on acupuncture points. This acts like a connective tissue massage, the flow of Qi, blood and  lymph fluid  is stimulated, the local blood circulation in the skin and muscle layers is promoted.


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