Oriental Medicine

Last updated date: 30-Aug-2023

Originally Written in English


Throughout a person’s life, various kinds of diseases are bound to arise. Some conditions may be minor and can heal with time. But others can be severe and might require special treatment or a professional medical expert. Specific forms of medications and treatment can sometimes be used to ease and treat such developing conditions. However, not all treatment forms are effective and may not give you the results you desire.

So, in case you find yourself in such a situation, you should consider an oriental medicine form of treatment. This is a traditional medication system that was initially used to cure a wide range of diseases affecting patients of all ages.


What is Oriental Medicine?


Oriental medicine is also referred to as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or just Chinese medicine. It’s an ancient medicinal and treatment system that is mainly based on a deep understanding of nature’s laws and patterns. This is then applied to a patient’s body to treat specific conditions as well as the underlying symptoms.

Oriental medicine involves a series of practices that are rooted way back in ancient philosophy. The only way oriental medicine varies from western medicine is in terms of connectedness across the globe and the human body. This understanding is mainly based on the traditional belief that human beings are microcosms of the vast universe. It’s also linked with nature and subject to the forces.

Generally, a human body is seen as an organic system where different tissues, organs, and various parts have varying functions. Nonetheless, they are all interdependent. Therefore, this implies that a person’s health and disease relate to balance the overall functions.


How Oriental Medicine Works?

Oriental Medicine

Oriental medicine works based on the significant energy of the body known as qi or chi. Ancient practitioners believe that this energy runs through the meridians (channels) in the body. This helps maintain and stabilize a person’s spiritual, physical, emotional, as well as mental health balance.

The principal aim of oriental medicine is to help maintain and regain the body's balance. It also helps balance harmony between the naturally opposing forces known as yin and yang. As a result, it prevents these forces from blocking and altering the qi energy flow and triggering certain illnesses.

Generally, Yin and Yang refer to the opposing forces that indicate qi qualities. Whereas Yin refers to night, dark, cold, feminine, and negative, yang refers to day, light, warm, positive, and male. The two forces work based on the belief that all life factors consist of a small percentage of the opposite forces. Due to this, it’s essential to ensure that they always remain balanced.

Yin and Yang forces are noticeable when it comes to consuming a particular drug to treat a condition or ease pain. These drugs are only effective if you take them according to the physician’s prescription. However, an overdose and sometimes under dose could result in additional health issues.


Practices Applied in Oriental Medicine

Practices Applied in Oriental Medicine

Oriental medicine majorly emphasizes individual treatment and involves various therapeutic forms of treatment. Furthermore, the types of treatment to administer often vary from one person to the other, basing on the ultimate needs and goals. 

Overall, these are the practices applied in oriental medicine; 



Acupuncture is an oriental method of treatment that involves inserting tiny needles into the upper skin layer. It can be the subcutaneous tissues or the muscles of specific acupuncture points to trigger or manipulate them.

Based on the ancient oriental medicine experts, a human body consists of many acupuncture points linked by 12 main channels (meridians). These meridians play a vital role in conducting the qi energy between the body surface and the internal organs. 

Overall, acupuncture helps maintain the balance between yin and yang. As a result, it allows the standard flow of the qi energy throughout a person’s body. It also helps restore the average health of both the body and mind. 

The central nervous system is said to be stimulated by acupuncture sites. This, in turn, causes chemicals to be released into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These molecular changes may boost physical and mental well-being by stimulating the body's inherent healing capacities.

Acupuncture practitioners utilize acupuncture to address a variety of health problems. Acupuncture, on the other hand, is not necessarily supported by solid scientific data. Acupuncture can assist with:

  • Chronic (long-term) pain
  • Chronic tension-type headaches
  • Migraines
  • Joint pain
  • Dental pain
  • Postoperative pain



Acupressure is a form of acupuncture treatment without needles. Instead, it involves applying manual pressures with fingertips to specific points of the body. Acupressure aims to exert force on the acupuncture and acupressure points that lie in the meridians. 

Acupressure is typically used to clear the blockages in the meridian. This is because the qi energy flow can sometimes get blocked at any meridian point. Whenever this happens, it influences specific symptoms and disorders at any part along the meridian. Therefore, applying pressure to the acupressure and acupuncture points helps unblock the meridian, hence reliving the condition and associated symptoms

Acupressure practitioners apply pressure to acupoints on the body's meridians using their fingers, palms, elbows, or feet, or with specific instruments. Acupressure may also include stretching or acupressure massage, among other things.

The study of acupressure's health advantages is still in its early stages. Many patient reports back up its usage for a variety of health issues. However, further well-designed study is required. Acupressure appears to help with the following health issues:

  • Nausea and vomiting caused by anesthesia, chemotherapy, motion sickness, pregnancy, and the postoperative period.
  • Cancer. Acupressure reduces stress, boosts energy, relieves pain, and alleviates other symptoms associated with cancer or its therapies.
  • Pain. Some preliminary data shows that acupressure may assist with low back pain, postoperative discomfort, or headache. Other types of pain may also benefit.
  • Arthritis. According to certain research, acupressure produces endorphins and promotes anti-inflammatory effects, which may assist with some kinds of arthritis.
  • Depression and anxiety. Acupressure may help with fatigue and mood, according to many studies.



Moxibustion is a therapeutic option that involves burning particular types of traditional herbs. The heat and smoke are then applied to specific points of the body. This method is mostly administered together with acupuncture.

The method can be used directly or indirectly by your moxibustion therapist. When used directly, the moxa cone is placed on the therapeutic spot on your body. The practitioner lights one end of the cone and allows it to gently burn. The therapist removes the cone after your skin begins to get red and you feel the heat.

In other circumstances, the practitioner fires the moxa after placing it on the acupuncture needle. The moxa will burn on the needle until it is completely consumed. Through the needle, heat is transmitted to the acupuncture point.

According to the oriental medicine providers, the heat produced during the moxibustion procedure triggers qi flow within the body through the meridians. Therefore, stimulating qi flow is vital since it helps maintain and restore the patient’s everyday health.

Moxibustion is based on the idea that disruptions in the flow of energy cause mental and physical health issues. As a result, it is used to treat:


Tui Na

Tui Na is a form of alternative oriental medicine that involves bodyworks such as acupressure and massage. It stimulates and boost the flow of qi energy within the body.

Tui Na mainly works by removing blockages in the points along the meridian. This eventually restores qi balance and enhances the overall health and wellness of the patient. 

Tui Na massage can be used to treat specific health issues or body parts. Because Tui Na massage is considered an alternative treatment, you should consult your doctor before using it to treat any medical condition.

Tui Na massage may be used to alleviate pain and sickness, as well as to stay healthy. The approach reduces tension, promotes relaxation, and promotes deeper sleep. It is frequently used to treat musculoskeletal and neurological system diseases and injuries.

Here are some conditions Tui Na massage can treat:

  • Neck and back pain
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Fatigue and insomnia
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Headaches
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Stress
  • Digestive conditions
  • Respiratory conditions


Cupping therapy

This is a therapeutic practice that involves the use of small round inverted cups. These cups are placed on particular body parts using a vacuum effect for just a short period. Generally, cupping therapy works based on the belief and understanding that drawing of the skin inside the cups triggers blood flow within that particular body part.

Cupping therapy may be useful when combined with other therapies, such as acupuncture or pharmaceuticals, for a wide range of conditions and disorders, including:

  • Herpes zoster
  • Acne
  • Facial paralysis
  • Cervical spondylosis
  • Blood disorders such as anemia and hemophilia
  • Rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia
  • Fertility and gynecological disorders
  • Skin problems such as eczema and acne
  • High blood pressure
  • Migraines
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Bronchial congestion caused by allergies and asthma
  • Varicose veins


Diet and nutrition

Nutrition is another oriental medicine practice. It’s mainly based on the traditional belief and understanding of food's effects on a person’s body. According to traditional medical specialists, a balanced diet is usually made up of five different tastes. It includes sour, bitter, sweet, salty, and spicy. The bitter, sour, and salty tastes are associated with a cooling effect. On the other hand, the spicy taste comes with a warming effect, while the sweet taste has a strengthening effect. 

This, thus, means that a particular type of food with a specific taste has some of these properties. These properties are believed to heal various conditions and associated symptoms. They also boost the immune system and improve a person’s health.


Tai chi  

Tai chi is a mind and body treatment option that involves a wide range of slow but steady exercises. It also involves a combination of several activities, such as meditation, movement, and rhythmic breathing. Based on the principles of traditional oriental medicine, tai chi activities stimulate and enhance the flow of qi energy. In the end, it facilitates and speeds recovery from any health condition. 

In addition, tai chi improves both the physical and mental health of an individual. It can as well promote balance, posture, strength, and flexibility. Oriental medicine practitioners also believe that tai chi helps in various ways such as; 

  • Improving moods
  • Relieving pain caused by certain diseases
  • Improving heart health, its functions, and activities 
  • Strengthening the body’s immune system 


Herbal medicine:

There are several types of herbs that most practitioners use to treat and manage a range of health conditions. These herbs are usually extracted from different roots, seed, stem, and leaves of various plants. Some of these plants include ginger, cinnamon bark, ginseng, licorice, and many more. 

For better results and taste, these herbs are usually combined to create a formula. It’s then dispensed or administered in the form of traditional tea, granule, powder, liquid extract, and capsules. 

Herbal medicine is one of the most natural types of medicine. It is made from plants and botanicals that have naturally occurring active compounds that experts employ to assist you in addressing a wide range of health and wellness concerns. Herbal medicine has several advantages, including:

  • Immune system support
  • Natural remedy for menopause
  • Boosted circulation
  • Sharper memory
  • Stress reliever


Diseases treated using oriental medicine 

Diseases treated using oriental medicine 

The initial aim of oriental medicine is to treat diseases and address associated signs and symptoms. It also helps prevents the health condition or symptoms from recurring. Generally, medical practitioners can recommend oriental medicine to treat various conditions such as; 

  • Anxiousness 
  • Diabetes 
  • Allergic reactions 
  • Depression 
  • Back and neck pain
  • Arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis 
  • High blood pressure
  • Skin conditions such as eczema, hives, acne, or psoriasis 
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Sleeping disorders or insomnia
  • Obesity 

In addition, oriental medicine can be used in various medical fields to address related situations. These conditions include; 

  • Respiratory system disorders 
  • Neurological disorders
  • Reproductive system disorders 
  • Mental health and emotional issues 
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Gastrointestinal disorders 
  • Eyes, ears, and mouth disorders


What are the possible complications of oriental medicine?

Oriental medicine

Complications of acupuncture

If you decide to have acupuncture, make sure the acupuncturist is either a regulated healthcare professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or physiotherapist, or a member of a national acupuncture organization.

Acupuncture is typically highly safe when performed by a competent practitioner. Some people may have minor, short-term negative effects such as:

  • Pain where the needles puncture the skin
  • Bleeding or bruising where the needles puncture the skin
  • Drowsiness
  • Feeling sick
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Worsening of pre-existing symptoms


Complications of acupressure

Acupressure should never be uncomfortable. Inform your therapist right away if you have any discomfort. Following an acupressure treatment, some persons may experience soreness or bruising at acupressure sites. You may also feel dizzy for a while. Over delicate areas, such as the face, apply mild pressure.

If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before doing acupressure. Acupressure is not often performed on:

  • The abdomen
  • Certain points on the leg
  • The lower back

Acupressure shouldn't ever be done over any of these areas:

  • Open wounds
  • Bruises
  • Varicose veins
  • Swollen areas

If you have any of these conditions, talk to your healthcare provider before trying acupressure.

  • Osteoporosis
  • Recent fracture or injury
  • Cancer
  • Easy bruising
  • Bleeding disorder
  • Heart disease
  • Uncontrolled blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Use of prescription anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications, such as coumadin (warfarin)


Complications of moxibustion

Moxibustion is an integrative and complementary therapeutic practice worth trying. It does, however, pose a few concerns, one of which being the chance of being burned in the process. As a result, it's better to stay with indirect moxibustion, especially when practicing it alone. Other probable adverse effects are as follows:

  • Toxic reactions to mugwort
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Coughing from the smoke
  • Dark skin patches
  • Fetal distress if you’re pregnant
  • Premature birth
  • Basal cell carcinoma or a type of skin cancer


Complications of Tui Na

Tui Na massage is a safe and well-tolerated therapy. However, keep in mind that it is not a soothing or relaxing massage, and you may experience some discomfort during or after a session. Minor bruising is probable.

It is not advised for persons who have or are at risk of having fractures, venous irritation, or any form of open wound. It is also not suggested for persons who have previously suffered from persistent back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis.


Complications of cupping therapy

Cupping is quite safe if performed by a competent health expert. However, the following negative effects may occur in the region where the cups come into contact with your skin:

  • Mild discomfort
  • Burns
  • Bruises
  • Skin infection

Bloodborne illnesses such as hepatitis B and C can be transmitted if the cups and equipment become contaminated with blood and are not properly sanitized between patients.


Complications of Tai Chi

Even though tai chi is one of the safest types of physical activity, it's always a good idea to see your doctor before attempting something new, especially if you have any pre-existing medical concerns.

If you feel dizzy or faint while performing tai chi, stop what you're doing and sit down. If the sensation persists, arrange an appointment with your doctor.


Complications of herbal medicine

If you use or want to use herbal remedies, be aware of the following:

  • They may interfere with other medications you are taking. They may reduce the effectiveness of the other medication or cause it to induce unforeseen adverse effects.
  • You may have a negative reaction or adverse effects after using herbal medication.
  • Not all herbal medicines are regulated. Remedies specially prepared for individuals don't need a license, and those manufactured outside the country may not be subject to regulation.
  • Evidence for the effectiveness of herbal medicines is generally very limited. Although some people find them helpful, in many cases their use tends to be based on traditional use rather than scientific research.

Taking herbal medicine may not be suitable for:

  • People taking other medicines, including hormonal contraceptives, such as the combined pill
  • People with serious health conditions, such as liver or kidney disease
  • People who are going to have surgery
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • The elderly
  • Children – as with all medicines, herbal medicines should be kept out of the sight and reach of children



Oriental medicine

Oriental medicine is a treatment alternative that most physicians can recommend if other treatment forms fail to respond. It can be used to treat a wide range of health issues and associated symptoms that impact a person's overall well-being. Generally, oriental medicine works by influencing constant and standard qi flow through the meridians to give you good health. 

For such treatment services, you can always consider the CloudHospital medical platform. It offers a wide range of services and treatment options for both acute and chronic conditions. Furthermore, it gives you access to professional oriental medicine specialists who are not only trained but have years of experience.