What is Chinese Medicine?

What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a comprehensive medical system that came into being following five thousand years of observation and analysis.  TCM can prevent illness, maintain health and fight disease.  It can effectively treat conditions ranging from the most severe paralysis to the common cold.  It not only relieves physical pain and disease, but can provide beneficial psychological effects as well.  TCM remedies possess few side effects and, unlike with drugs, tolerance does not build up over time.

How Does It Work?

TCM views patients holistically, composed of body, mind, emotions and spirit.  When these elements are out of balance, disease develops.  Factors such as stress, emotional upset and poor diet can all contribute to this imbalance.  TCM helps restore patients’ health by bringing harmony to the body, mind and emotions.

TCM treats the entire body.  A patient may come in for treatment for a specific ailment and find that, unexpectedly, long-term unrelated conditions have also improved.

The various components of TCM include acupuncture, herbal therapy, moxibustion, cupping and nutrition.


The Chinese believe that every living being possesses a universal life energy called “qi.”  This energy circulates throughout the body along pathways called “meridians,” which surface on the skin at certain points.  Each point is then connected to a specific internal organ.  When qi flows smoothly, patients experience good health.  When qi is blocked, the system is disrupted and illness occurs.  Acupuncture helps the body to heal itself by opening the energy meridians and stimulating the flow of qi.  Dr. Ma inserts very fine needles at specific points on the meridians, unblocking the flow of energy.  Scientific research has discovered that the acupuncture points show a variety of unique bioelectrical properties.  Stimulation of these points causes definite physiological reactions affecting brain activity, blood pressure, heart rate and the immune system.


The most fundamental method of TCM treatment, herbal medicine is dispensed to patients in formulas based on their unique constitutions and current medical conditions.  These combinations of herbs serve to unblock energy and to nourish and repair organs.  Dr. Ma uses a variety of raw herbs, powders, pills and tinctures.


Moxibustion treats and prevents illnesses by applying heat at certain points on the body.  It can relieve traumatic pain or debilitating conditions such as weakness and fatigue.


With cupping, Dr. Ma applies glass or bamboo cups to acupuncture points or affected areas of the body.  The vacuum suction created by heat stimulates blood circulation and improves the flow of qi.  This method is used for joint pain, muscle injury, headaches, infections, bronchial congestion, etc.


Poor nutrition can play a vital role in the origin of many diseases.  Dr. Ma can recommend appropriate changes in choice of food, eating, habits and proper food intake.