Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the modern-day manifestation of a healing art system based on observation of the natural world and in particular, the human body. This system and its antecedent have been in use for well over two millennia in Asia; some would argue that they’ve been in use for over four millennia. The system spread to other continents as world-wide exploration occurred. Some form of TCM is practiced on all continents save Antarctica (although who knows if the researchers stationed there use facets of TCM for their own personal health!). The components of TCM are: acupuncture & moxibustion, Chinese herbology, feng shui, Qi Gong, Chinese astrology, tui na (Chinese bodywork), meditation, and nutritional counseling.
This medical system has historically been shaped by Taoist, Buddhist and Confucian philosophies. The impacts of these philosophies are readily observable in the poetic language used to describe physiological concepts of the human body and in the names of acupuncture points. While shaped by these three philosophies, a personal belief in these philosophies is not necessary to receive benefits from the system. That is, TCM is not incongruent with one’s spiritual/religious beliefs.