Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a stand-alone ancient diagnostic and therapeutic approach that was developed in China. TCM is understood in the West as complementary to conventional medicine. Discord in the way in which the organs work together is understood as a malfunction rather than a disease. Treatment therefore involves restoring the physiological equilibrium. TCM relies on 5 key principles: medicine, acupuncture, moxibustion (warming acupuncture points), massage techniques (e.g. Shiatsu), exercise (e.g. Qigong) and nutrition.
Acupuncture has gained acceptance in the West as the most important TCM treatment standard, and is now accepted by basic health insurance in many cases.
Thin needles are used to pierce the skin and stimulate certain points, thereby eliminating blockages in energy flow. Acupuncture is used in both diagnosis and therapy. In a number of medical specialties, acupuncture is also used in the prevention and rehabilitation of functional, psychosomatic or organic disorders (diseases). Acupuncture is most commonly used in musculoskeletal disorders (backache or lumbar and neck pain), joint pain, rheumatism, headaches and general weakness.