The Five Branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine

The five branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that maintain and restore an individual’s harmony with nature include: Acupuncture, Herbs, Massage (Tuina), Qigong (energetics and exercise), and Chinese Dietary Medicine.

Acupuncture uses very fine needles to regulate Qi (Yang energy) and Blood (Yin fluids), produced by the internal organs, which flow through the 12 meridians. According to TCM theory, all human physical disorders or diseases are related to the dysfunction of Qi and Blood. By inserting acupuncture needles in correct points, we tonify Qi and Blood deficiencies or invigorate the stagnation — resulting in improved mental and physical health.

Herbology is the preparation and use of plants and minerals as prescription medicine. Chinese herbology is found in many forms, including powder, pills, teas, and creams. These herbs treat disorders and diseases through internal or external absorption. Since Chinese herbs have different tastes, properties, natures and functions — and because they enter various channels (meridians)— the herbs affect the flow of Qi and Blood, as well as the body’s balance of Yin and Yang.

Tuina Massage refers to the use of traditional Chinese massage to treat injuries of tendons and muscles, and organ disorders. Tuina applies pressure on the points, as well as applying specific movements along the meridians, to regulate and harmonize the flow of Qi and Blood.

Qigong Energetics are exercises that heal through rhythmic breathing and body movements. Qigong Energetics includes internal healing arts, such as the Five-Animal Exercise developed by Hua Tuo, plus meditation, medical Qigong and various styles of Taijiquan, an internal martial art practiced worldwide.

Chinese Dietary Medicine is a highly effective method of self-treatment handed down in China over thousands of years. Like all agricultural societies, China understands the vital connection between food and health. Thus, TCM doctors prescribe energetically-balanced diets to treat disharmonies in the Qi, Blood, and organ functions, using the energetic profile of foods.
TCM and Western medicine are both essential to the evolution of a future world medicine. The five branches of TCM provide a profound view of the human relationship to nature — a philosophical view at the heart of all great human civilizations. We wish to perpetuate this inherent TCM wisdom.