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Topic section: Traditional Chinese Medicine
TOPIC SECTION:
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine started in China more than two thousand years ag
Image: Acupuncture figure, male, 17th century
Acupuncture models have been made for hundreds of years – this wooden model is over three hundred years old
Credit: Science & Society Picture Library
o, and has since spread to almost every corner of the world. Theories and practices in TCM have changed over time, sometimes through influences from philosophy, religion and other medical traditions.

Weather, spirits and time of day can all affect your body, according to TCM. A cosmic energy or force called qi (chi) connects everything in the univers

 Medical students in China can study TCM, biomedicine or a combination of the two
e and allows the surroundings to influence your body. The qi can enter or leave your body through body openings.Inside the body, qi must flow smoothly along channels without being blocked. This ensures internal harmony, essential for wellbeing. The qi is divided into Yin and Yang - an imbalance between these two can cause health problems.
If you are feeling ill, the doctor may suspect that your qi is blocked, weak or unbalanced. Qi, Yin and Yang influence your looks, pul
Image: Traditional Chinese herbal medicines are prepared in local clinics as well as hospital pharmacies, like this one in Taiwan

Traditional Chinese herbal medicines are prepared in local clinics as well as hospital pharmacies, like this one in Taiwan.
Copyright: Mark de Fraeye
se and the sounds and smells coming from your body. TCM doctors examine all these factors, and question your symptoms, to find out if you need treatment.

Acupuncture, medical drugs and moxibustion - burning a herb near or on the skin - are some of the common treatments used to restore the harmony in your body and improve your health.

But you don’t have to be ill to need treatment. An experienced TCM doctor can prevent health problems before they arise. Your lifestyle is important - exercise, healthy food and living in balance with the surrounding environment can have a positive effect on you. The TCM doctor can advise you on how to have a long and healthy life.

Today, TCM is an integrated part of the Chinese health-care system. Medical students in China can study TCM, biomedicine or a combination of the two. In Britain an increasing number of doctors in the National Health Service offer TCM treatments to their patients.

 
 
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Topic section: Ayurveda
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For its patients and practitioners, Ayurveda is more than a medical tradition – it is a way of life. Preventing illness is as important as treating it. With roots in the Indian subcontinent more than two thousand years ago, Ayurveda’s influence has since spread to many other parts of the world.  > more

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Topic section: African medical traditions
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For thousands of years, Africa’s many medical traditions have grown and changed in response to local disease and sickness. Although a diverse continent, certain elements of theory and practice are common to the many African medical traditions taking a holistic, community-led approach to medicine.  > more
 
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