What is Chinese Medicine?

Chinese medicine includes the modalities of Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, moxibustion, massage, dietary and exercise therapy. It offers a holistic and drug-free approach to managing men’s and women’s health.

Chinese Medicine is not only a stand-alone system but also works very well alongside Western medicine and other modalities.

More accurately though it is called East Asian Medicine or Oriental Medicine. This is more encompassing of the multitude of styles and practices that have developed throughout the Asian region throughout time.


Chinese medicine is a holistic system of health care that has a long history stemming back more than 2000 years.

The roots of Chinese Medicine lie within the theories of Yin Yang and the Five Elements. The body is understood as being constructed of 12 main Zang-Fu organs, which covers the range of physical, emotional and mental capacities of the body.

In Chinese Medicine, it is understood that the body has a natural ability to respond to changes in its environment, externally and internally.

However, the body can lose track of this ability due to influences that can affect our health such as the external climatic environment, ongoing mental and emotional stress, overwork, poor diet, lack of exercise, toxic overload and trauma.

Our body becomes unable to return to its happy homeostatic medium and disease arises as we cannot respond naturally to aggravating factors.

Falling Ill

The symptoms of ill health and disease we experience, such as a migraine or back pain, are often a signal of this deeper disorder within the body.

Treating these symptoms alone is like placing a sticker over the warning lights on your car’s dashboard. The issue is no longer in your awareness, but underneath the trouble is still present.

Often we then continue to push on, resulting in further compounded damage as the underlying cause remains unaddressed.

If your Qi and blood are deficient or not flowing freely, diseases can arise as the body is not supported in its ability to harmonise your health and reduce disorders such as digestive, respiratory, gynaecological, skin, stress and headache complaints.

Qi is the energy that helps to nourish your body and manifest the fullest expression of your health and vitality, flowing throughout the body in what is known as the acupuncture channels.


The focus of Chinese medicine is to understand the context in which disease has arisen, as well as the root cause of disease, in order to restore your body’s health and vitality that arises from having an abundant supply and uninterrupted flow of Qi (energy) and blood.

Addressing the root causes of disease allows the constellation of co-existing symptoms to be addressed.

Chinese medicine utilises many objective signs to determine your health such as the quality of your pulse and the appearance of your tongue and complexion, as well as the feel of your abdomen and the skin above the acupuncture channels.

These signs are taken into consideration, along with your history of current and past health issues, to determine the pattern of dysfunction which your body is displaying and the appropriate remedy such as Chinese herbs, acupuncture or massage to help resolve this pattern.

Preventative Health

Chinese Medicine is not just about direct treatment of symptoms in the clinic.

Acupuncture Tools of Chinese Medicine

The ultimate goal of Chinese medicine treatments, once current health concerns are under control, is to equip you and your body with the resources to prevent illness occurring.

Chinese medicine is thus also employed as a preventative measure to ensure health, as exemplified below

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To treat disease once it has occurred is like digging a well for water when you are already thirsty

Huand Di Nei Jing
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The ancient Chinese observed that natural world, and came to the conclusion that people were in their best health when they lived in accordance with the laws of nature. When they lived seasonally and moderately.

Over 2000, they were observing the effect of lifestyle on longevity.

 The people of distant antiquity knew the Dào and followed the patterns of Yīn-Yáng. They harmonized with calculation techniques and regulated their food and drink. They normalized rising and dwelling [lifestyle] and did not tax themselves with wild activity.

People in modern times are not like this. They drink wine like it is broth and take the wild as normal. They enter the bedroom when drunk and exhaust their Jīng-essence by following their desires. They consume and scatter the true and do not know how to maintain their fullness. They drive their spirits when it is not the time and devote their attention to pleasing their hearts. They go counter to the joy of life, and rise and dwell without regulation. That is why they decline at half of a hundred years.

Su Wen Chapter 1 (translated by Lorraine Wilcox)

Individual treatment for individual people

The focus of Chinese Medicine is on treating the person, and not the disease. Each person is unique, and the reasons for their specific symptom are likely different from another with the same symptom.

By taking into account the physical, emotional, social and mental environment, a complete health picture and wellness plan can be developed.

Complimentary 15 Minute Consultation (value $25)*

Do you experience pain or struggle to find the energy for your busy schedule?
Is finding the time for relaxation difficult, leaving you feeling lethargic and stuck?
Would you like to find out how Chinese Medicine can help you reclaim your health and vitality?

You are invited to reach out and arrange a no-obligation, 15-minute phone call to discuss how Chinese Medicine can help you.

*(T&Cs – this complimentary consultation is only available to new clients)

The following books are easily accessible introductions to the world of Chinese Medicine:

What else would you like to know?

Thanks for reading this far. Have I missed your question? Was something unclear? Let me know in the comments below, I read and respond to every one!

Photo of author

Dr Jason Chong (Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner)

Acupuncturist. Herbalist. Educator.

Jason is the owner and principal practitioner at Dantian Health. A nationally registered Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist, qualified shiatsu and tuina therapist and the director and educator in Shiatsu and Oriental Medicine at the Australian Shiatsu College.

Jason's qualifications include:

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