What exactly is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
One way to understand Traditional Chinese Medicine (otherwise referred to as TCM) is by looking at a writer in the movie industry. When he is telling his story, he will use different elements of action, drama, comedy, pacing, and so forth. He could write with a lot of one element and little of another. The end product will differ depending on the amounts of each elements used, but each product will still be a movie.
TCM, consists of different elements of practice, a person certified in Oriental Medicine is qualified to treat patients with the use of acupuncture, herbology, dietary therapy, qi gong, or chinese medical massage. They can use all of the elements or they may chose to specialize in one or two. The end result will be similar: a person is diagnosed according to certain principles and then is treated by either administering acupuncture, dispensing herbal supplements, or instructing the person in how to eat in order to get well.
TCM is composed of 5 different sets of practices: acupuncture, herbal pharmacology, dietary therapy, chinese medical massage (also known as tui na), and qi gong. One can specialize in one of these forms of medicine, or can have a broad scope of practice that encompasses all of these. Each is used to help bring balance to the body, but each has a different strengths in achieving it.