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What is TCM? Is TCM Safe? (Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Traditional Chinese Medicine)

TCM, TCM, TCM Treatments & Theory

By Sin Kang TCM

What is TCM? Is TCM Safe? Read this before your first visit.


what is tcm is tcm safe


With the growing popularity of alternative medications and therapies, more patients are turning away from Western medicine and investigating their choices for addressing today’s most common health problems, which includes Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).


TCM is a widely established practice in Singapore, as evidenced by the city’s numerous TCM clinics. TCM procedures like herbal medicines and therapeutic methods like acupuncture and cupping have also long been the focus of global investigations and clinical research.


Finally, after several years, these efforts to introduce TCM into the global mainstream seem to have finally come to fruition.


WHO Includes TCM in Latest ICD


The 11th edition of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global compendium—known as the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD)—will include information on TCM for the first time.


What would this mean?


ICD is a standardized method for diagnosing, epidemiology, research, and mortality causes that employs alphanumeric codes. TCM diagnoses such as qi insufficiency, liver qi stagnation, and damp heat, to name a few, would be standardised if TCM was included in the revision.

While this is welcome news for TCM clinics in Singapore, certain members of the scientific and research community have expressed reservations about the modification. They accused the organization of legitimizing methods that, according to them, have not yet been thoroughly examined.

It raises the question of whether TCM is genuinely safe. Let’s start from the beginning.


what is tcm is tcm safe

Let us tell you a story.


Let us share with you one of our physician’s own childhood experiences:

When she was a child, she spent many sweltering summers in her aunt’s Shanghai apartment. Unused to the heat, she was often weak and nauseated. To assess her health, her aunt would palm her forehead and check her tongue for changes in color and shape.

Then she’d clear the hair from the back of her neck and, with a spoon—or more often, her knuckles—press and pull at her skin until a reddish-purple mark appeared. She was suffering from heatstroke, she said, and this friction would draw out the toxins that were making me feel sick.

The darker the resulting welts, according to her, the more bad energy had been released.

This treatment is known as ‘gua sha’, and has been proven effective since ancient times and gaining more and more interest and understanding lately.


There are other mysteries surrounding not just TCM treatments, but TCM theories too:

Did you ever hear your parents or relatives telling you to drink more water after eating ‘heaty’ foods like durian or fried chicken? Or them telling you to drink more ‘cooling’ tea because the weather is so hot?

What exactly is ‘heaty’ and ‘cooling’?

What about ‘Qi’? Is it real and what exactly is it? Or what does it mean to not have enough ‘Qi’ or ‘Yin’ or ‘Yang’?

Learn the answers to these questions and more in our other blog posts that explain concepts of heatiness and more, to gain an appreciation of the rich culture and history of TCM, and reap benefit from its teachings for both yourself, the people around you, and the generations to come.



What is TCM?

TCM is a holistic approach to health that includes the use of diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient system of medicine that has been used for centuries in China and other Asian countries. 

TCM practitioners believe that the body has an innate ability to heal itself and they aim to stimulate these natural healing abilities by providing treatments that are tailored to your individual needs. 


TCM is different from other systems of medicine in that it sees the human body as a complex system. It has specializations, such as acupuncture, herbalism, and acupressure, which work together to restore balance in the body.


What is the basic concept of TCM?

TCM is the abbreviation for Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is an ancient form of medicine that has been practiced in China for over 2,000 years. TCM uses natural substances like herbs, animal products, and minerals to diagnose and treat illness. But rest assured, majority of all herbs used in Sin Kang TCM are halal certified and suitable for Malays.

TCM is based on the theory of Yin and Yang, which are two opposing but complementary forces or energies that exist in all things. In TCM, health is achieved by balancing these two forces.


what is tcm is tcm safe


What is Qi in Chinese medicine?


TCM’s main premise is that an important life energy known as Qi runs throughout the body and that any imbalance in it might result in illness. An adjustment in the yin and yang—the opposing and complementary elements that make up the Qi—is regarded to be the source of such an imbalance.


The theory behind Traditional Chinese Medicine has been used to help patients for about 2,000 years. It was first developed in ancient China during the Zhou Dynasty (1066-256 BCE). The use of herbs and acupuncture to treat illness was popularized during this time period.


TCM clinics in Singapore treat a wide range of health concerns, including arthritis, sleeplessness, stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as other chronic and acute ailments, using this holistic approach to treatment. The following are some of the TCM treatments for regaining equilibrium.


Treatment Methods Used in TCM


what is tcm is tcm safe


One of the most prevalent uses of acupuncture in Singapore is for fertility. It is thought to counteract the effects of stress, which can contribute to infertility in women. Stress, according to studies, causes spasms in the fallopian tubes and uterus, which can disrupt a woman’s ovulation. (Source: Pacific College of Health and Science, 2019)   


A Word of Caution: Safe Use of TCM

Many people believe TCM is fully safe and has no negative effects because of its comprehensive approach to therapy and prevention. However, while this is natural, it is not always the case. It may cause more harm than good if not utilized properly or performed by a registered TCM clinic in Singapore.

Finally, here are some guidelines for using TCM safely.

  • If you want to utilize TCM to supplement your current conventional treatment, always talk to your doctor first.
  • TCM should never be used to replace or postpone conventional treatment.
  • Exaggerated promises concerning herbal supplements should be avoided.
  • Don’t buy herbal supplements from untrustworthy sources.
  • Inquire about the training and experience of any TCM clinic in Singapore that you’re considering.


In addition to these guidelines, you should know that there might be contraindications for certain health conditions such as hypertension or hyperthyroidism. Some tonics and supplements contain ingredients that may aggravate these conditions—deer’s antlers, ephedra, ginseng etc. So, always seek the advice of a qualified TCM physician before you self-medicate.


Additionally, if you’re on blood-thinning or anti-seizure medications, you should also be cautious when taking herbal supplements as certain ingredients may interact with these medications.



What is TCM used for?


What are the benefits of TCM?


Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic approach to health and wellness. It is based on the idea that the body has an innate ability to heal itself.


TCM is a holistic approach to health and wellness. It is based on the idea that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. TCM practitioners believe that illness occurs when something disrupts this natural healing process, such as emotional stress, physical trauma, or environmental factors.


The benefits of TCM are:

– Improves immune system function

– Reduces inflammation

– Increases energy levels

– Improves sleep quality


Written by Sin Kang TCM, Singapore’s most trusted TCM clinic.

About the author

Sin Kang TCM

Contact us for Enquries 联络我们

Sin Kang TCM was established in 1999 in the heart of Singapore's business district and won the Top 25 Prestige Award in 2014 and awarded the Singapore 500 SME Company prestige commercial status in 2021.

For over 20 years, Sin Kang TCM Clinic has been providing a holistic and comprehensive range of treatments for our patients to improve their quality of life through affordable healthcare, based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) wisdom and modern medical advances. Some of our treatments include signature NO-PAIN Acupuncture™, Tui Na, Cupping, Gua Sha and many more.

In 2017, we expanded our health renewal journey by curating quality products to bring you the best of TCM right to your doorstep.

When you're looking for quality affordable products, we hope that we'll continue to be the place you think of. Thank you for dropping by, and do drop us any feedback so that we can bring you better healthcare products!

Sin Kang TCM 于 1999 年在新加坡商业区的心脏地带成立,并于 2014 年荣获 Top 25 Prestige Award,并于 2021 年荣获新加坡 500 SME Company 声望商业地位。

20多年来,新康中医诊所以中医智慧和现代医学进步为基础,通过负担得起的医疗保健,为我们的患者提供全面和全面的治疗,以提高他们的生活质量。 我们的一些治疗包括标志性的无痛针灸™、推拿、拔罐、刮痧等等。

2017 年,我们通过精选优质产品扩展了我们的健康更新之旅,将最好的中医带到您家门口。

当您正在寻找特别且价格合理的东西时,我们希望我们将继续成为您想到的地方。 感谢您的光临,并为我们提供任何反馈,以便我们为您带来更好的保健产品!