TCM refers to all the practices of Chinese medicine: acupuncture (which encompasses cupping and moxibustion), Chinese herbal medicine, Tuina, dietary therapy and Qi qong/T'ai qi. It differs from Western medicine in that it has its own medical theory employed in diagnosis and its own therapeutic techniques of which acupuncture is probably the most widely known and utilized. Underlying theories in Chinese medicine include those of Qi (pronounced 'chee'), often translated as 'energy', and Yin and Yang, opposite yet interdependent forces which correspond to the cyclical movements seen in the natural world e.g. darkness changing to light.
Cupping is a treatment used since ancient times in which a partial vacuum is created by heat or suction in a cup, which is then applied to the skin. Modern day cupping mostly uses glass or plastic cups, and the technique, which generates a pulling sensation, promotes blood and qi flow in helping with such conditions as muscular and joint pain, common colds and influenza,
headaches, asthma etc.
A technique used within traditional Chinese medicine in which the herb mugwort is burnt. A cigar shaped stick of the burning herb will either be held near the skin or a small cone will be placed at the end of an acupuncture needle in situ. It is used to warm acupuncture
points/meridians, thus encouraging a smooth flow of blood and qi. It is also a well known technique used
to help turn breech babies.