Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Modern World

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been practiced for thousands of years. It encompasses a wide range of natural and herbal therapies and, in recent years, has become increasingly popular in the Western world. As an alternative to modern Western medicine, traditional Chinese medicine provides relief for a wide range of ailments without the risks and side effects commonly associated with prescription medications, surgery, etc.

While you should always consult with your physician regarding your health, there are all sorts of TCM therapies that could help you live a better life. Here are just a few options for experiencing the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine in the modern world.


Acupuncture involves inserting extremely thin needles into the skin, subcutaneous tissue, and muscle at specific acupoints throughout the body. In TCM, there are up to 2,000 acupoints on the human body, and those pints are connected by 12 primary meridians. These meridians allow Qi, or energy, to travel throughout the body. Acupuncture is believed to clear blockages in the meridians and allow Qi to flow freely.

Modern studies suggest that acupuncture works by stimulating the body to release natural its own natural painkillers. It may also stimulate natural healing processes. It is believed to ease the pain of lower back pain, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and more. Acupuncture can also prevent migraine headaches.


Sometimes performed in conjunction with acupuncture, moxibustion is a therapy in which herbs known as “moxa” are burned near the skin. Moxa is made from dried Chinese mugwort, which has long been used for medicinal purposes.

During treatment, the burning moxa is held near acupoints. TMC practitioners typically hold sticks of burning moxa inches from the skin until it is red and warm. Products like the Ayana Wellness EasyMoxi, however, make it safe and easy for people to perform moxibustion on themselves in their own homes.

Moxibustion can be used to treat chronic and acute pain, menstrual cramps, headaches, insomnia, and a wide variety of other ailments and diseases.


Cupping is a type of Chinese massage that looks a bit strange but is reported to be highly effective. It involves placing several plastic or glass cups on specific parts of the body. During treatment, a TMC practitioner places a flaming cotton ball (or another small flammable object) inside a cup to remove the oxygen. The substance is removed, and then the cup is placed against the skin with the open side down. As the air inside the cup cools, it creates a vacuum which allows the cup to stick to the skin. This treatment is said to stimulate blood flow and loosen tight muscles.

Cupping is like the opposite of massage. Rather than pressing muscles and tissue, it gently draws them upward. The cups are usually left in place for up to 10 minutes. This treatment is used for pain as well as digestive issues and even the common cold.


Traditional Chinese medicine has been around for thousands of years and is becoming increasingly popular in the modern world. The therapies listed above are just a few of the more common options that you can try to improve your own health and well-being without the use of medications.

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