Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles date back to the Han Dynasty (206BC – 220AD) and may have been in use for many thousands of years earlier. TCM is based on the theory that channels (or meridians), circulate the vital essences; Qi and blood, throughout the body, beginning in each of the vital organs (Zang Fu) and extending externally to the arms and legs. It is along these external meridians that the acupuncture points used in TCM therapies lie. These points are commonly stimulated with fine needles, however there are many other ways to activate them, for example with acupressure (manual stimulation), laser, cupping, Gua Sha and moxibustion.
Aside from the aforementioned manual therapies, TCM treatments may include Chinese herbal formulas, lifestyle advice, dietary therapy and exercises such as Tai Qi, Qi Gong and breathing techniques to achieve the best possible result. The treatments aim to harmonise the Yin and Yang energies, bring balance and regularity to the interactions of the five elements, move blockages in the channels which may cause pain or discomfort, and build up the vital substances of the body; the Qi and blood, to improve the body's ability to heal itself.