The Five Branches of Chinese Medicine

Chinese Medicine is the oldest, professional, continually practiced, literate medicine in the world. This medical system’s written literature stretches back nearly 2,500 years and many postulate it has been practiced closer to 5,000 years. Today, Chinese Medicine and ‘Western’ or allopathic medicine comprise the two dominant medical systems in the world. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has its origin in ancient Taoist philosophy which views a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, each influencing and balancing the other. Unlike allopathic medicine, which attempts to isolate and separate a disease from a person, Chinese Medicine emphasizes a holistic approach of ‘wellness’ that treats the whole person. TCM is a complete medical system and attempts to treat the full range of diseases, acute and chronic, traumatic, infectious, and internally generated. Many people have found TCM methods of healing to be excellent tools for restoring and maintaining optimum health, preventing illness, and enhancing well being of body, mind, and spirit.

The modern version of TCM developed as a new “school” or philosophy of medicine, which attempted to standardize the information from many regions and traditions from around China. What was chosen for inclusion was information that was found to be universal throughout and was consequently adopted by the schools being started in the United States. This is what is currently recognized as ‘Acupuncture’ in the U.S., but this in fact is only one aspect of the complete medical system. Acupuncture is but one ‘branch” or discipline out of five (some say seven or nine). Although acupuncture can stand alone, we choose to practice at least a portion of all five branches for maximum efficacy. Our clinic focuses mainly on Acupuncture, Manual therapy (Rolfing & Massage) and Herbal Medicine.

five branches of chinese medicine