7 Strange Practices Of Traditional Chinese Medicine That Actually Works

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) involves different methods designed to help patients with their health issues. It is an ancient system of health and wellness that has been used in China for thousands of years. It is based on Chinese traditions with the thinking that health issues are caused by the imbalance of disruptions in the body’s vital energy, or qi.

According to Christina Morris, licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and owner of Element Healing Arts in Brooklyn, New York:

“Qi flows through pathways in the body called meridians, which are associated with a particular organ. Energetic imbalances disrupt normal flow of qi, leading to disease, illness and disharmony. TCM manipulates the energy in these channels to restore balance, creating better health and wellness.”

While Western medicine focuses mainly on treating disease, TCM looks at your entire well-being.

Here Are Some Of The Best TCM Practices That Seem Weird But Actually Works


Acupuncture is the practice of inserting needles into the skin after the practitioner assesses where your qi or life force is stagnant (Or where you might feel pain). The inserted tiny needles will help stimulate qi along the body’s many meridians.

Acupuncturist Christina Morris says:

“Stimulation of acupuncture points can increase circulation, decrease inflammation and alleviate pain, triggering the body’s natural painkillers and stimulating the body’s natural healing response.”

Chinese Herbs

TCM practitioners commonly use the substances from different flowers, roots, stems, leaves, and the seed of plants such as rhubarb, licorice, cinnamon bark, ginseng, and ginger.

In Chinese herbology, the herbs are combined into a formula that is dispensed in the form of a traditional tea, capsule, liquid extract, granule, or powder.


This therapy involves burning of mugwort herb over some acupuncture points and line of energy pathways with the aim of facilitating healing. The heat of the herb is thought to stimulate the flow of Qi, strengthen the kidney, dissolve stagnation, expel wind and disperse cold, treat menstrual pain, and warm and invigorate the blood.

Qi Gong

This is a combination of exercise and meditation that uses the movement of breathing technique, posture, sound and focus intent, and self-massage. According to studies, it can help lower blood pressure.

Gua Sha Or Scraping

This folk medicine technique involves the use of pieces of smooth jade, animal tusks, horns, bone, or smooth stones to scrape along the skin to release obstruction and toxins that are trapped at the surface of the skin. The scraping is done until red spots then bruising cover the treatment area.

According to studies, this technique can help provide greater oxygen perfusion to the affected areas, a feeling of relaxation, more nourishment to the tissues, and pain relief and well-being.


This TCM practice it a type of Chinese massage that involves placing several glass or plastic cups on the body. This method helps create a vacuum that will draw blood to the surface of the skin. Cupping has been found to be useful in speeding up the process of detoxification, decreasing swelling and inflammation, increasing circulation, pain management, and respiratory disorders.

Tongue Diagnosis

The TCM practitioner does not only focus on a patient’s physical appearance and behavior but they also pay attention to the tongue.

The tongue has various features that indicate various bodily functions.

According to herbalist Christina Morris:

“The tip of the tongue corresponds to the heart and the lungs, the sides to the liver and the gallbladder, the middle of the tongue to the spleen and the stomach and the root of the tongue to the kidneys and urinary bladder. Color, coating, spots, bumps and cracks in particular areas of the tongue can be indicative of imbalances in the body, representing present disease or future health issues that can arise.”

By just looking at your tongue, Morris can tell if you are suffering from acid reflux, asthma, food stagnation, diabetes, anxiety, bloating, hypertension, diarrhea, or constipation.