Maintain Your Balance with TCM

Teresa Lau's picture

Every now and then, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) makes the news. Much of the exposure comes from celebrities who have come out and endorsed it for its effectiveness in treating a myriad of health conditions--everything from aches and pains, colds and flu to depression and infertility. And most recently, Miss Arizona Jennifer Smestad credits acupuncture and herbal therapy in helping her overcome Tourette syndrome.

So what is TCM exactly? And how does it work?

TCM is a system of medicine with origins that go back thousands of years. Its use was widespread in Asia, with everyone from emperors to peasants relying on it to maintain health. Today, it is still a widely used form of medicine for many people across the globe. The fundamental theory underlying TCM is simple: Good health is the optimal state of equilibrium in the body; illness and disease manifest when the balance in the body is disrupted. And what throws the body into imbalance to begin with? Pretty much everything in your surroundings that you interact or come into contact with! Even in ancient times, people recognized that stress, diet, lifestyle, heredity, and environment are all factors that affect our physical and mental health.

The reality is, few of us in the modern world are truly balanced. But our bodies are designed to be pretty resilient, so there is a threshold that it tolerates before you start to notice symptoms. Only in extreme cases, such as that of Miss Arizona, will the imbalance really present itself.