What is Chinese Medicine?

A complete natural medical system, time-tested & personalised for you

With a history of over 3,000 years, traditional Chinese medicine is one of the most popular evidence-based natural therapies, helping one-quarter of the world’s population today to treat disease and maintain health.

Chinese medicine offers a natural alternative to treat many common and difficult health conditions. It can be used together with western medicine, or at times when a drug-free approach is preferred.

Best known for acupuncture, Chinese medicine also includes Chinese herbal medicine, cupping and scrubbing, meridian massage, lifestyle advice and diet therapy, tai chi and qi gong exercise.

How does Chinese medicine treat me differently to other therapies?

More and more people are discovering the potential of Chinese medicine to help many common and difficult health conditions – including those that have failed to respond to contemporary western medicine and other therapies.

One important difference of Chinese medicine is that we don’t treat symptoms in isolation, but seek to diagnose the underlying patterns of imbalance (syndromes) that are causing them.

With this approach, when certain internal organ imbalances, emotions, recent or past injuries, as well as particular lifestyle, diet and environmental causes are identified and resolved, many co-existing symptoms can be relieved together.

Many chronic, lingering and re-occurring symptoms can be solved when the underlying physical, emotional and lifestyle causes are uncovered with the help of your Chinese medicine practitioner.

Chinese medicine helps your body to help itself

We intuitively know that our body has it’s own powerful self-healing ability which is at work 24 hours a day. Sometimes due to injury, overwork, long-term physical or emotional stress, an un-healthy diet or home and work environment, this self-healing ability can be weakened, get stuck or even go wrong.

A fundamental principle of Chinese medicine is not simply to treat the symptoms of disease, but to diagnose and correct underlying imbalances that prevent your body (and mind) from healing itself.

Illness and disease in the eyes of Chinese medicine isn’t defined as a list of symptoms, but looking at the underlying reasons why your body isn’t functioning as a balanced whole, or why it’s not in harmony with the environment you live in.

Using a combination of natural therapies including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, meridian massage, cupping and scrubbing, we aim to relieve your symptoms while supporting your body to restore and strengthen its own natural healing ability.

During your course of treatment, our practitioners will also give you individual lifestyle and dietary advice relevant to your condition, drawing from over two thousand years of Chinese health preservation knowledge and experience.

Health care is regarded as one of several means to a good life, and is defined as an individual’s harmonious interaction with their community and the natural environment.

The origin of Chinese medicine

China is one of the world’s oldest civilisations with a continuous history of over 4,000 years. The ancient Chinese physicians realised that illness was rare when people lived in a completely natural environment.

According to the historic medical texts, those who understood the laws of nature, ate and drank in moderation and maintained a peaceful mind and body could live a natural life span of a hundred years.

Others who lived recklessly, overindulged in food and drink, neglected their emotions and pursued quick pleasures of the heart declined in health by the age of fifty. Nor did they obtain true happiness through the sacrifice of their health.

Chinese philosophy has long understood that good health and happiness depends on a harmonious existence between an individual and their environment. Yet prevention was no longer enough as society became more complex and lifestyles busier and stressful. So the ancient physicians developed a system of medicine that could diagnose and restore this lost balance to an individual’s life.

An ancient Chinese medical text preserved from the Qing Dynasty.

Personalised medicine

The effectiveness of Chinese medicine lies in its ability to diagnose and treat each individual as a whole, both physically and emotionally. This is possible because Chinese medicine organises all of the observable signs of human life into a comprehensive system of functions and relationships.

It should also not be surprising that the workings of the human body and nature are closely aligned. Thus, Chinese medicine uses many natural metaphors to explain the physiological functioning of the body such as “dampness”, “liver wind” or “kidney water unable to control heart fire.” These theories have been continuously documented, tested and refined by generations of Chinese physicians over many thousands of years.

In the eyes of Chinese medicine, each person is constitutionally different and so is the cause and progression of their disease. Chinese medicine aims to treat the underlying pattern of physical dysfunction that manifest as symptoms of disease, not just the diseases themselves as described by western medicine. Each of these patterns, or syndromes, represents a unique set of physical, emotional, lifestyle and environmental factors. By always treating the cause of a symptom we can diagnose its true origin, prevent its progression and restore the body’s own healing ability.

Ancient remedies for modern times

It is a well known saying that “the superior physician prevents disease before it occurs.” Throughout its long history, Chinese medicine physicians developed many theories and practical measures that could be applied in daily life to help people recognise and protect themselves against the causes of illness.

Many of these ideas and concepts are woven into the fabric of Chinese culture today. They are not complex and reflect an understanding of health and nature that is shared by many ordinary members of Chinese society as part of their upbringing. Using food as medicine is an integral part of Chinese and Asian food culture. Exercises such as tui na massage and tai chi are popularly practiced worldwide.

Maintaining good health includes not only taking care of our body and mind, but also the health of our natural environment and home.

The development of Chinese medicine continues today both in China and around the world with the support of the World Health Organisation and national centres such as the NCCAM (United States) and NHMRC (Australia) that support evidence-based research. More and more people are recognising the value of traditional medicines and preferring natural, drug-free treatments where possible. One quarter of the world’s population uses or practices at least one of the components of Chinese medicine.

Health is a philosophy of life

The paradigm of modern disease is not that we are lacking in science or medicine, but a greater awareness of ourselves and our place in nature. Chinese medicine serves as a gentle reminder to us that we cannot be healthy if we are not at peace within. Neither can we be healthy on a sick planet. We hope that Chinese medicine can inspire you to find happiness and health from harmony in your life.

Remember, health is not just the absence of illness, it’s a philosophy of life.

Next, learn more about the world’s most popular evidence-based natural therapy belonging to traditional Chinese medicine: Acupuncture.