Tools Used by A Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine


There is little doubt that acupuncture is the most common tool that TCM practitioners use. The procedure entails inserting filiform needles into specific areas of the body known as acupuncture points or acupoints, for short. Having a unique capacity to regulate out of balance bodily systems, acupuncture, when done correctly, can strengthen your immune system if it is too low or reduce your blood pressure if it is too high. Simply speaking, this treatment provides the body with a “physiological nudge” towards healing and well-being.

Chinese herbal medicine

With an extensive and long history dating even further back than acupuncture’s, Chinese herbal medicine is deemed to be the TCM practitioner’s most useful and important tool. The Chinese herbal medicine bible known as the Materia Medica is replete with data regarding thousands of minerals, barks, flowers, plants, roots, and even animal products each having singular medicinal qualities.

TCM Massage or Tuina

Best used for ailments such as musculoskeletal pain, Tuina can also be an ideal treatment for problems like menstrual and digestive issues with great success.


Also known as “fire” cupping, cupping is a technique whose tools are round glass cups placed on the body. This treatment is often used in issues such as chronic muscle pains and aches. Fire cupping is a procedure in which a small flame is lit and rapidly placed into the glass, the fire consumes all the oxygen in the glass creating a mini vacuum inside the cup which is placed on the patient’s back or other parts the patient’s body. The heat in the glass gently pulls the muscle tissue and skin into the cup. Cupping is extremely effective at alleviating chronic muscle pains and aches.


This procedure also involves fire and heat. Moxibustion involves the burning of a Moxa or Mugwort plant sometimes on top of an acupuncture needle that’s been inserted into the skin or sometimes on the acupoint itself. This treatment is often performed when a person suffers from a “cold” type of pain like knee or shoulder pain that gets worse in cold weather.

Exercise recommendations diet therapy, gua sha (gentle skin scraping treatment) are the other types of TCM modalities TCM practitioners use when needed.

Your First Visit – What to Expect

When you visit your TCM practitioner for the first time, your practitioner would get your complete medical and health history. He/she would take note of your family’s medical history, the recent medications you are taking or have taken, and your recent illnesses. The visit would more or less last about one and a half hours.

During your visit, your TCM practitioner, will ask you several questions that are important for him as it will give him/her a better understanding of your condition which in turn will help him/her decide on what herbs to prescribe and what acupoints to needle and/or heat. After the interview, the TCM practitioner will need to inspect your tongue and take your pulse (at the wrist). These diagnostic procedures (tongue inspection and palpation of the pulse) involve several hours of learning by practitioners in TCM colleges. According to TCM, there are 28 different kinds of pulses. Each pulse demotes a specific imbalance within the body.

The surface, coating, shape, and size of the tongue contain information about your health that can help narrow down further a diagnosis. Try comparing your tongue when you feel healthy and during the time when you have the flu; the changes are remarkable!

Depending on the health issue being treated, follow-up visits usually last between thirty minutes to one hour. To notice an improvement in your condition, the treatment usually requires six to ten sessions; if the problem has occurred just recently (weeks or months) the duration of treatments is few and short; if it’s been around for years or decades, you’d need to undergo months of treatments.

TCM Practitioner Training

Unfortunately, there are some people who practice TCM with very little training. Therefore, one needs to do a little research into the background of the practitioner. To make sure your practitioner is well-qualified, check to see if he is a licensed practitioner and is accredited by a major TCM organization. This will prevent you from experiencing injuries, infections, and unwanted side effects and ensure that you will be getting the best possible treatment outcomes.

Beyond Pain Management

Acupuncture is very helpful for the management of pain in Miami, in this the scientific community agrees. There have been quite a number of articles on this subject published in medical journals throughout the world. The general public however, is only now becoming aware of this treatment’s ability to treat other common conditions such as emotional issues, gynecological conditions, and chronic digestive problems. These are common complaints the TCM practitioner hears frequently in his/her office and which can be treated with great success.