What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is an ancient system of medicine originating up to 5000 years ago that has undergone constant evolution to it’s now modern counterpart. It is this tradition of evolution that has led to the diversity of philosophy regarding the physiology, pathology and effective treatment modalities contained within TCM. Common to all of these altering ideas is the idea of moderation; that there is no right or wrong, positive or negative, only imbalances.

The yin and yang symbol commonly seen is a fundamental to the understanding of the philosophy within TCM. Yang pertaining to the sunny side of the hill, full of life, full of heat and expanding activity, whilst Yin pertains to the shady side of the very same hill, full of nourishment, cold, resting and contracting. Without a balance of these factors, there cannot be healthl; as the insomniac becomes manic and collapses, the obese and depressed never rises.

Modern Traditional Chinese Medicine

Professional Standards

    • In Australia, like Dentistry, Physiotherapy and Podiatry, TCM is a nationally registered health profession governed by AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency).
    • TCM practitioners undertake 4 years of full-time study at universities in Australia involving extensive clinical placement.
    • Like other healthcare professionals, TCM practitioners maintain: accreditation with a professional association, professional indemnity insurance and undertake Continuing Professional Development activities each year.

Benefits of seeing a registered health professional

      By seeing a nationally registered TCM practitioner, you are working with a highly trained professional that dedicates their time to ongoing learning in their field.
      This translates to more knowledgeable practitioners and better outcomes for patients.
      Additionally, you will be able to claim a rebate from your health fund if you are eligible.

Types of treatment employed by TCM practitioners

Treatments used by practitioners at our clinic vary with each presentation in order to produce best possible outcomes for the patient. Techniques used may include:

Traditional Chinese Medicine Diagnosis

The unique aspect that underpins TCM is it’s diagnostic system. Over millenia of continual development, there have been various schools of thought in TCM that have evolved into the now modern diagnostic system known as Syndrome Diagnosis.
Syndrome diagnosis involves understanding the greater background picture of a patient in order to understand just how their primary complaint fits in. This system allows a TCM practitioner to understand and treat wholistically; having the ability to create profound change in many health conditions that have been resistant to other symptoms based treatments.

Traditional Chinese Medicine & Western Medicine

Both of these systems have immense potential to create profound health improvements for patients.
The major difference between these systems is the diagnostic system used to understand a problem and secondarily the treatment methods employed.

  • TCM diagnosis involves understanding all aspects of a patient wholistically and uses treatments designed to stimulate the patient to heal themselves. This is using both symptom and syndrome diagnosis.
  • Contrastingly, WM (Western Medicine) diagnosis focuses on an in-depth understanding of the symptom, at times utilising advanced technological tests to reveal details that will guide the physician to deliver powerful treatments designed to resolve the symptom.
With these variances in methodology, each of these systems have their strengths and weaknesses. The above is not to say that one is superior to the other but that they each have their place in order to improve health outcomes.

Whilst TCM employs relatively safe methodology effective for non-emergency injuries and developed illnesses, WM utilises sophisticated technological diagnostic techniques and treatment methods highly effective in managing emergency and acute life-threatening injuries/illness.

Scientific Evidence of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Due to outcomes of research to date, there is a growing interest amongst scientific researchers in TCM and it’s treatment modalities. In particular, there is a focus on: how do TCM techniques work and does TCM work for ‘x condition’. Reasons for this increasing rate and quality of research are due to the now well-established fact that TCM poses mild safety concerns, is identified as cost-effective for a certain list of conditions and has been categorised with varying levels of evidence as being effective for certain conditions. 

In 2017, the AACMA (Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association) commissioned a revised literature review of all the research conducted on Acupuncture: The Acupuncture Evidence Project, a summary of which is available here. Although research is in a constant state of development, the consensus at this stage is positive for many conditions. Luckily, with growing research interest, this scientific research paper is only going to become more and more specific as to what research says TCM can and can not assist with.

At Evolution Medical Care, we applaud scientific insight into further understanding of treatment methods that are employed and look forward to further high quality research to assist health outcomes of our patients.

Do you have any further questions? Contact us and one of our friendly team members will be in touch shortly.