TCM is a clinical approach used in the Far East. It is believed to restore the flow of essential vital energy, Qi (Chi), that supports all life processes in the body. Qi flows along a network of connected energy channels called meridians that connect all areas of the body and its outer surface with the internal. Also, through Qi flow, health and well-being whether emotional or physical, are dynamically linked. TCM treats the entire individual and by stimulating the body’s defence system, damage is repaired and the balance in Qi flow is restored around the body in a sustained way.
By contrast, in the West, the symptoms of a condition are treated or controlled, usually, in isolation of the impact on an individual's energy status. While logical, treatment is generally localised. It interrupts the process believed to be at work and may do so without always considering any treatment effects on other, more distant processes. For instance, it is quite possible that two people with the same diagnosis in the West would receive quite different TCM treatments.
In all, health is regarded by those practising TCM as more than just the absence of disease. Indeed the body and its energy must be brought back into sustained equilibrium. For this reason, considerable attention is given to lifestyle management as the means for preventing disease.