The wellness movement is alive and thriving as people across the world are beginning to focus more on health more than ever before. One aspect of well-being is traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine (or TCM for short) has developed over thousands of years. It uses mind and body treatments, such as acupuncture and Tai chi, as well as herbal remedies to prevent and cure diseases. Since it has such a long history with unique techniques many people outside of China have begun to take an interest in TCM.
The most popular practices we’ll introduce today include acupuncture, Tai chi, and Chinese herbal medicine. By learning more about TCM we can get a small peek of China’s long and fascinating history.
#1针灸 (Zhēnjiǔ) Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a unique means of treating diseases and injuries in China. It usually includes piercing the surface of the skin of the patient with a small needle. The method is practiced in accordance with traditional Chinese medicine theory of using a specific angle. This technique can stimulate specific parts of the human body to channel the meridian, and adjust the overall balance of the patient, thus achieving the purpose of treating disease.
It can be used for comprehensive treatment in combination with other therapies. Acupuncture treatment is intended to improve disease resistance, calm, and relieve pain. Due to the medical, economical cost, and basically safe and reliable effect, it has always been embraced by Chinese people.
Here is an example phrase you may hear in reference to “针灸 (zhēnjiǔ) acupuncture” in China.
Zhēnjiǔ jùyǒu xiétiáo shēnxīn de gōngxiào.
Acupuncture has a harmonizing effect on the mind and body.
#2太极 (Tàijí) Tai chi
“太极 (Tàijí) Tai chi” is a form of exercise which uses gentle postures and slow movements.
People practice “太极 (tàijí) Tai chi” to maintain health, improve temperament, and improve the quality of life. It is very beneficial for maintaining fitness and overall well-being, especially suitable for elderly people.
Since “太极 (tàijí) Tai chi” emphasizes breathing and movement, many people use it as a form of meditation. It is a great alternative to “瑜伽 (yújiā) yoga” practice considering the amount of mental focus that is required during Tai chi. It continues to gain popularity beyond China’s borders.
How do you talk “太极 (Tàijí) Tai chi” with Chinese friends? Check this dialogue.
Lì Li: Nǐ xǐhuan dǎ tàijí ma?
Li Li: Do you like Tai chi?
Xiǎo Xīn: Wǒ fēicháng xǐhuan, yīnwèi tā yǒulì yú shēntǐ jiànkāng.
Xiao Xin: I like it very much because it is good for our health.
Tàijí shì yìzhǒng lǎoshào jiē yí de yùndòng.
Tai chi is an exercise suitable for both old and young.
#3中草药 (Zhōngcǎoyào) Chinese herbal medicine
There are about 5,000 kinds of traditional Chinese medicines used in various parts of China, made by combining numerous types of herbs. After thousands of years of research, it has formed as an independent herbal science. Now various medical colleges and universities in China have offered the course on natural medicine, which is commonly known as Chinese herbal medicine.
China is the birthplace of Chinese herbal medicine. Currently, there are about 12,000 kinds of medicinal plants in China. After further research and summaries from ancient sages about Chinese herbal medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, it has earned the most extensive recognition and application in the medical realm.
Here are some common Chinese herbal medicines as follows:
当归 (Dāngguī) Chinese Angelica
枸杞 (Gǒuqǐ) Goji berry
菊花 (Júhuā) Chrysanthemum
金银花 (Jīnyínhuā) Honeysuckle
胖大海 (Pàngdàhǎi) Boat-fruited sterculia
By learning Chinese traditional medicine phrases you too can talk about the popular topic of health and well-being. Have you tried any TCM? Tell us in the comments below then take the quiz below to check your reading comprehension and help memorize the keywords discussed in this article.
1. Read the dialogue and answer the question below.
Lì Li: Ài, wǒ zuìjìn jīngcháng tóutòng.
Xiǎo Xīn: Wèishénme bú shì shì zhēnjiǔ ne? Tīngshuō zhìliáo xiàoguǒ hěn búcuò.
Which of the following is true according to the dialogue? Please choose the best answer.
A. Xiao Xin suggests the acupuncture treatment to Li Li.
B. Li Li suggests the acupuncture treatment to Xiao Xin.
C. Xiao Xin suggests that Li Li practice tai chi to stay healthy.
D. Li Li suggests that Xiao Xin practice tai chi to stay healthy.