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The main difference between Western medicine and TCM lies in the functional approach: Traditional Chinese medicine focuses on regulating and supporting, conventional medicine on replacing functions. One could say that conventional medicine should be used primarily for serious disorders of the body, and TCM for functional disorders. TCM can help to support and regulate body functions aimed at metabolism and immune defense.

It is assumed that acupuncture was used as early as 200 BC. was fully developed. The first acupuncture needles were pieces of metal covered in verdigris. A round side was used to press and massage the skin surface at various points. The pointed side was used to pierce under the skin. The points/body paths that were described back then mostly correspond to the meridians known today.


There are 12 paired main meridians - running on both sides of the body - which are named after the organs they supply with energy and with which they are directly connected, plus one meridian each on the front and back midline of the body. The acupuncture points are located on these meridians.

According to TCM, the prerequisite for the success of acupuncture treatment is the selection of the appropriate meridians and acupuncture points with the help of traditional Chinese diagnostics.

TCM diagnostics includes

  • Facial diagnostics - the external appearance
  • Tongue diagnostics - the decisive factors are shape, color, moisture and texture
  • Pulse diagnostics - is the focus of TCM diagnostic methods.


An experienced TCM doctor uses all of his senses for diagnosis. He tries to use the voice and breathing, the cough and also the body odor to determine in which functional circle the disorder could lie.

If you have read this article, you will notice that the diagnostic methods from TCM, Ayurveda and herbal medicine have many parallels.

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