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What is Traditional Chinese Medicine and how can it help achieving your health goal this year?

January 12th 2022

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine and how can it help achieving your health goal this year?
by Aude Camus
The last two years have shown us that our health and wellbeing should always be top priorities in our life. I’m not a big New Year’s resolutions person but this year I’ve decided to commit to look after my mental and physical wellbeing.
I like to think of myself as a healthy person. I work out regularly, I have a pretty balanced diet and I rarely get sick. In true western style, I take pride in saying that I haven’t visited a general practitioner in more than three years. But now I know that being healthy goes way beyond not getting sick. I’m often exhausted, my blood circulation is bad causing pain in my legs, my upper back is really tight due to poor posture and stress and I have digestive problems. These are common issues I can live with, I’ve been doing so for the past few years. But why would I wanna live with them if some easy lifestyle adjustments can help ease them? I’ve decided to look at the bigger picture and instead of fixing my health problems – going for a lymphatic massage when my legs swell because of my bad blood circulation or taking pills when the digestion gets too painful, I wanna prevent them from happening. And I’m relying on Traditional Chinese Medicine to achieve some of my health goals this year.

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Often associated with acupuncture and herbal teas, TCM is actually a broader century-old system of health that focuses on your overall wellbeing. When traditional western medicine relies on science and medicines to “fix” what needs to be fixed, TCM is based on the concepts that are harmony – the Yin and the Yang, and energy – also known as Qi. I personally don’t think one is better than the other but I think they can work very well together.
The basic belief of TCM is that your health, such as everything else in life, depends of the harmony between the two contrary forces that are the yin and the yang.

How can TCM help achieve some of your health goal?
According to TCM, there are nine different body types. Your body type is the result of both inherited and acquired factors which means your body type can change with your lifestyle. Typically, one person has a mixed body type – mine at the moment is Slow Blood and Dry Fire.
The nine body types are:
Neutral, which is the most harmonious type and therefore one you would seldom see
Weak Energy
Cold & Pale
Dry Fire
Heavy & Humid
Hot & Humid
Slow Blood
Blue Discomfort
Identifying your blood type can be done online: https://chinesemedicinebodytype.com/
But once you’ve identified your body type, I would strongly recommend booking an appointment with a Chinese medicine doctor to go through the details of your body type, understand the symptoms and explore ways of working towards a more balanced body type. I booked an appointment with Dr. Michelle at Balance Health and I’m glad I did. It helped me understand that some of the health issues I was trying to fix with my western knowledge couldn’t actually be fixed that way since there were inherent to my blood type. I told you at the beginning of this article I often feel exhausted which I logically thought was the result of  sleep deprivation. But that’s where it get tricky because I’m not lacking any sleep, I actually sleep a good nine hours every night, always fell asleep within 10 minutes after switching off the light, nap on weekend when I can and seldom wake up during the night. Well, I learnt that this exhaustion feeling is not the result of insufficient sleep but of blood stasis. Blood is not circulating properly throughout my body resulting in poor irrigation of some organs and therefore fatigue but also black eye lids and easy bruising.
If western medicine can help me treat the symptoms resulting from this bad blood circulation, I’ve decided to also rely on TCM to try and improve the blood circulation itself.   
The practice of TCM includes acupuncture, cupping – which was recommended to me to increase blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed, Tuina, herbal teas, qigong and more. Diet suggestions also come with each blood type alongside activities suggestion. For my slow blood type, hot ingredients should be eaten more often than cold ones as heat stimulates blood flow, while HIIT trainings are great as they allow the muscles to expand and contact therefore boosting, again, the blood circulation. And see, no major lifestyle changes just a few improvements. Here’s to me working (not so hard) towards achieving some of my health goals this year.
TCM practitioners I have visited and can recommend:
Dr. Michelle Zhang at Balance Health
2705, 27/F, Universal trade Centre, 3-5 Arbuthnot Road – Central
Erica Chan at Rapha Chinese Medicine Clinic
410, 4/F, New World Tower 1, 16-18 Queen’s Road Central – Central


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