What is TCM?

by Jane Veitenheimer |

What is TCM?

TCM stands for Traditional Chinese Medicine, it’s one of the oldest holistic healing systems based on knowledge developed over 2,500 years ago. As a broad definition, TCM focuses on the concept of internal imbalance - what causes it, ways to treat it, and how correcting it can help us live longer, fuller lives. Common TCM practices include herbs, acupuncture, cupping, meditation, Tai Chi, and Qigong. As TCM covers a broad range of practices, the best way to understand it is by considering it’s philosophical direction through its principles.

What are the principles of TCM?


Yin and Yang represents opposite yet complementary traits that are interdependent of each other. This is a central concept in identifying alignments and treatments with the goal of balancing the yin and yang in each individual. An example of this in Chinese medicine is the concept of hot and cold, or excess and deficiency.


Qi, pronounced “chee” is the energy within our bodies which are believed to reside within an inner network of maps known as Meridians. When there’s an illness in Traditional Chinese Medicine it’s often believed to be the result of an imbalance or blockage of this Qi or energy within our bodies.


In contrast to Western medicine, TCM focuses on prevention. While some of these practices can provide immediate relief, ongoing health practices are the best way to create internal harmony. For example, a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner may prescribe treatments for issues that are likely to arise with age and time rather than waiting for there to be an issue to treat.

Self healing

Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that your body knows how to heal itself. Rather than adding components to directly fix illnesses, the goal is to enable your body to fix these illnesses naturally. For example, with our Women’s Monthly Kit helps your body support itself throughout a period cycle rather than using birth control which is actively adding a hormone to your system. Learn more about how the pill affects your hormonal health with this blog post.


TCM and Daoism are connected and complement one another through a shared belief in the concept of balance, both within ourselves and the world around us, in order to find perfect health and harmony. Based on this concept of connection, we believe that healing begins with nature. Because of that belief we practice sustainable sourcing and donate 1% of all revenue to WildAid. Learn more about our sourcing and sustainability here.

How can I integrate TCM into my life?

Curious about the practices of TCM, but don’t understand how to integrate the healing system into your life? Read our blog about 6 Holistic Practices from Chinese Medicine. Visit our product pages and see what herbal formula would most support your current health constitution and experience the power of Traditional Chinese Medicine for yourself!

Jane Veitenheimer is a Minneapolis-based writer who is passionate about vinyasa yoga and holistic healing. In her free time she juices, knits with her two cats, and goes on long hikes with her dog.

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