What is TCM?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a formalized system of healing rooted in thousands of years of recorded experience. An ancient and intelligent paradigm for healing, TCM is standardized medicine. The treatments are personalized for each individual, allowing for the natural blending of TCM and western medicine.
TCM can treat many conditions, including: back pain, injuries, headaches, insomnia, fatigue, diabetes, anxiety/depression, common colds, fertility issues, erectile dysfunction, menstrual irregularities, arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and addictions. The World Health Organization has significant data supporting TCM in healing the body-mind-spirit for a multitude of conditions. And there is much being done in research to help establish the role of TCM in our current health care system.
Acupuncture is but one facet of TCM. Other modalities that fall under the umbrella of TCM are: herbal medicine, dietary recommendations, bodywork, moxibustion, visualization/meditation, breathing exercises, physical exercise, cupping, gua sha, and blood-letting.
Traditional East Asian Medicine (TEAM) is a more comprehensive and inclusive description of the type of medicine many in this field of integrative care are practicing. While I use TCM, almost interchangeably, this term is becoming dated. TEAM allows for styles that originate in Japan, Korea, and other East Asian countries. Additionally, certain styles of TEAM may have been developed or modified in non-East Asian countries; for example, Five Element style is an import from England. Much of what is happening in the US is an evolution (not suggesting it is better, but it is changing) of TEAM. And as more research offers legitimacy to the efficacy and deep intelligence of this medicine, it adapts and changes to suit integrative medical settings. Keep in mind that this form of healing work is relatively new to the US, and so is the way we are connected to others across the world. There is much yet to unfold.