In contrast to conventional medicine, the TCM tries to justify health and diseases from the perspective of the yin and yang theory or the five-element teaching. Health reflects the harmony of yin and yang and the harmonious, smooth interaction of the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire, earth) in the human body. In contrast, a disease indicates an imbalance, a disharmony of Yin and Yang, a disruption of the interactions of the five elements in the body. Healing in TCM thus eliminates disharmony and restores harmony in the human body.
In the TCM, attempts are made in practice to recognize or to remedy the disharmony from the current illness, taking into account the interplay of organ systems.
The following diagnostic methods are mainly used:
An experienced TCM therapist does not miss anything when the patient enters: the patient's external appearance, his particular type of movement, his face color etc. Does he speak quietly or loudly? Does he have a special body odor or bad breath? All of this external information can indicate an imbalance or dysfunction of the internal organs.
The tongue body reflects the state of internal organs. An experienced TCM therapist is able to recognize the harmony or disharmony or the functionality of the respective organ according to the nature, shape, color and coating of the tongue.
The questioning of the patient is based on the current medical history and lifestyle habits such as eating, digestion, sleeping, the psychological state, etc. The most extensive questioning possible of the patient tries to identify the disharmony and dysfunction in the body exactly.
The pulse is sensed on both sides of the patient during pulse diagnosis. Different internal organs are assigned to the different pulse characteristics, the nature of the sensed pulse indicating any disharmonies present in the body or functional disorders of the internal organs.
TCM knows over 700 different acupuncture points. Most of them are distributed throughout the body on a total of 14 meridians, also called acupuncture channels. In the Acupuncture Depending on the clinical picture, selected acupuncture points are pierced with fine metal needles, depending on the location only a few millimeters or even up to a few centimeters deep. The needles remain there for 20 to 45 minutes.
Acupuncture tries to eliminate disharmonies or to compensate for imbalances in organ systems. First and foremost, the energy flow (called "Qi"), which is often blocked or blocked locally in the sick, should be brought back to flow. To achieve this, selected acupuncture points are stimulated by targeted needling and the energy blocks (Qi blocks) are released.
Acupuncture treatment is suitable for both acute and chronic complaints. Their healing effects have already been scientifically proven. For example, acupuncture can improve the local tissue blood flow in the case of muscular pain, have a balancing effect on the cardiovascular system in the case of high blood pressure, and improve the regulation of brain blood flow in the case of migraines.
As a special form of massage technique in TCM, Tuina massage stimulates the body surface, the energy channels and specific acupuncture points manually. This is to release the energy blockages (Qi blockagesQi blocks), to correct the imbalances in the body as well as malfunctions of internal organs and ultimately to flow the Qi unhindered throughout the body. The Tuina differs from Western massage in that it has a particularly wide range of indications and in its special grip techniques. It is used to cure and prevent diseases, to relieve pain, to stabilize the patient in the event of illness, and to maintain and strengthen health.
As an alternative or a supplement to acupuncture, cupping tries to treat the local stagnation of qi and blood. When cupping, the so-called cupping heads, usually made of glass, sometimes also made of bamboo or plastic, are placed directly on the skin. A vacuum is usually generated in the cupping heads with fire, alternatively also with a suction device.
With this vacuum effect, moisture and cold loads are sucked out of the body and persistent pain is relieved. Local qi and blood stagnation can be released, blood circulation stimulated and the unhindered qi flow promoted throughout the body. Cupping is helpful for a variety of complaints, including rheumatism, lumbago, kidney weakness, fatigue, fever, flu, cold.
Moxibustion is the burning of moxa herb, also called mugwort herb, for external stimulation of certain acupuncture meridians or acupuncture points. The moxa herb is packaged in a cigar shape or attached to acupuncture needles. In practice, the inflamed moxa cigars are held along the acupuncture meridians or at certain acupuncture points. There may be a slight, visible redness on the skin. The patient feels a pleasant feeling of warmth. If the moxa herb is speared on acupuncture needles, it is ignited when the needle is stuck while sitting on the needle. The heat is conducted through the metal needle into deeper tissue layers.
Moxibustion is particularly suitable for the treatment of exhaustion and chronic diseases. By burning off the moxa herb, the acupuncture meridians are warmed, blood circulation is promoted, the energy flow (Qi flow) is improved and the cold is expelled.
As an element of the TCM, ear acupuncture represents an effective own system of acupuncture. There are over 100 ear reflex points within the ear, which reflect the entire body of the human being. The ear reflex points are connected to organs, body parts or body functions via a reflex. In the case of diseases in a specific organ or part of the body, the corresponding ear reflex point proves to be particularly painful when stimulated. Thus, one can treat complaints in a certain organ or part of the body via the corresponding ear reflex points by stimulating them
In addition to needling, sand grain plasters are often used for permanent treatment in ear acupuncture. The small grains of sand are firmly fixed with plasters on ear reflex points and can be stimulated by the patient himself by pressing them regularly for several days. Ear acupuncture can be used for almost all acute and chronic diseases. The use of ear acupuncture is particularly effective for diseases of the musculoskeletal system, nerve and joint pain and for the treatment of addictions.
As an essential part of TCM, herbal therapy, like acupuncture, is based on the principle of yin and yang and the five elements. In Chinese medicinal herb science, the individual medicinal herb is classified according to taste (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, sharp, contracting, neutral), according to special effects on organs or meridians and according to dynamic actions in the human body (lifting, lowering, withdrawing). In practice, several medicinal herbs, sometimes also minerals or animal components, are often put together specifically for a specific individual clinical picture and formulated with the aim of restoring the disturbed balance of yin and yang in the patient's body. The herbal mixture can be taken as a tablet, capsule, tincture, granulate or tea. Some herbs are even integrated into the kitchen in China.
Electroacupuncture is a healing method that is based on the knowledge of traditional Chinese acupuncture, but has been further developed with modern means. The acupuncture points in the body are stimulated with the help of slightly electrically charged needles. The medical effect is enhanced by this electrical charge.