What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

With a history stretching back thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a unique system of healthcare that can be applied to all manifestations of illness and disease. Although an ancient system, it has continually evolved along with the causes of many illnesses. Today much empirical Western scientific research is being undertaken to better understand the mechanisms and efficacy of TCM from a Western viewpoint, with positive results.

In Australia, TCM practitioners must be registered with the Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and have a minimum Bachelor degree qualification. Many private health insurance providers will cover TCM, Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine under their extras policies.

TCM is based on the premise that good health relies on the restoration and maintenance of harmony and order within the individual and their environment. In health there is an abundant supply of qi (vital energy) and blood, which flows evenly and rhythmically throughout the body nourishing the tissues, organs and brain. If the flow of qi and blood becomes blocked or if there is an inadequate supply, then the body fails to maintain balance and order and disease manifests. This can result from stress, overwork, poor diet, disease pathogens, environmental conditions, hereditary and other lifestyle factors.


Acupuncture involves the stimulation of specific acupoints on the body using thin metal needles manipulated either by the hands or electrical stimulation (electro-acupuncture). Acupuncture is used to treat internal disharmonies caused by organ and neurological disorders and has a profound ability to reduce stress.  Fore more information about the differences between acupuncture and dry needling check our our blog.

Chinese Herbal Medicine Thousands of medicinal substances, primarily plants, but also some minerals and animal products are combined to create an individualised formula to treat your specific condition. Herbal medicine can treat internally based disorders, externally contracted illnesses and musculoskeletal conditions.

Massage may include soft tissue and mobilisation techniques that address muscle tension, trigger points, scar tissue and joint conditions. Abdominal massage and lymphatic massage can aid digestion and moving fluids. Massage is often used in conjunction with other TCM techniques. For more information on the various types of massage offered at MOSIC please visit our Remedial Massage page.

Cupping involves applying glass or plastic cups to the skin from which air is then suctioned out. Although cupping is a non-invasive treatment, its effects can be felt up to 10 cm below the tissue surface. This aids in releasing toxins, moving stagnant qi and blood, activating the lymph flow and clearing colon blockages. Cupping can be used to treat musculoskeletal pain, gastrointestinal disorders as well as common colds and upper respiratory infections.

Gua Sha (Scraping Therapy) is typically performed by rubbing a smooth edged instrument across the skin. Gua sha can reduce fever and alter the course of an acute infectious illness, as well as reduce inflammatory symptoms in chronic illness. This technique is also used to release myofascial tension and reduce stress induced hormones.

Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy applied to the body to improve circulation, drive out cold and improve blood stagnation in the tissue. Moxibustion can be used in conjunction with acupuncture to treat chronic injuries and chronic illness. This treatment can also be used to drive out pathogens from body during acute stage infection.

  • Pain (both acute and chronic)
  • Common colds, lung infections, allergies
  • Headaches
  • Gynecological conditions
  • Digestive complaints
  • Chronic fatigue and post viral fatigue
  • Skin conditions
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Post surgery recovery
  • Sports injury
  • Depression, anxiety, stress
  • Insomnia and sleep disorders

TCM and Osteopathy work extremely well together and TCM can be used safely alongside Western intervention and pharmaceutical treatments. If you have any queries about Traditional Chinese medicine please contact our registered TCM practitioner.

If you would like to book a Traditional Chinese Medicine consultation please call Melbourne Osteopathy Sports Injury Centre reception on (03) 9939 1289 or email:

[email protected]