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An Alternative and Complementary Medicine Resource Guide


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  teeqpu.jpg (4050 bytes) A Brief History of Traditional Chinese Medicine
  teeqpu.jpg (4050 bytes) Basic Principles
teeqpu.jpg (4050 bytes) Acupuncture
    teeqpu.jpg (4050 bytes) The Five Element Theory
    teeqpu.jpg (4050 bytes) The Eight Guiding Principles
    teeqpu.jpg (4050 bytes) Diagnosis
    teeqpu.jpg (4050 bytes) Chinese Herbs
    teeqpu.jpg (4050 bytes) Massage
    teeqpu.jpg (4050 bytes) Diet and Exercise
teeush.jpg (2948 bytes) Books
teeqpu.jpg (4050 bytes) Journals
teepsh.jpg (3181 bytes) Professional and Referral Organizations
teek.jpg (3467 bytes) Training and Treatment Centers
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Web resources

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The roots of Chinese Traditional Medicine (also referred to as TCM) date back more than 2000 years.  Its rich history tells of the many influences on its development, including the Japanese, Europeans, and the Communist revolution.   The changes that followed these influences explains why both terms--Traditional Chinese Medicine and Traditional Oriental Medicine (TOM)--are seen in the literature.  Although these two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, TOM generally refers to the system of Chinese medicine practiced until the early 1900s.   Up until this period, Chinese medicine had witnessed great growth, but also decline, as Western influence expanded and the training of traditional medicine grew poorer and more limited.

The Communist party of China was formed under the leadership of Chairman Mao in 1928 and took over power in 1949.  The Communits realized that there were little or no medical services and actively encouraged the use of traditional Chinese remedies because they were cheap, acceptable to the Chinese, and used the skills already available in the countryside.  In 1940, Yang Shao proposed to "scientificize" and "popularize" Traditional Chinese Medicine.   Since then, this resurgence has opened facilities in China to provide, teach, and investigate Chinese Traditional Medicine.  While both Western and Chinese medicine have been practiced in China since the late 1800s, the traditional Chinese approach to medicine began to grow in popularity in the West in the 1970s, when ties to China opened.

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Acupuncture is the practice that most often comes to mind when thinking of Chinese medicine, but TCM represents a much broader system of medicine that includes herbs, massage, diet and exercise therapy. The underlying basis of TCM is that all of creation is born from the interdependence of two opposite principles, yin and yang (see the Eight Guiding Principles below).  These two opposites are in constant motion, creating a fluctuating balance in the healthy body.   Disease results when either yin or yang is in a state of prolonged excess or deficiency.

One of the body constituents is Qi (pronounced "chee"), which is the energy that gives us the ability to move, think, feel, and work.  Qi circulates along a system of conduits, the principle ones being channels or meridians.  There are twelve principle bilateral channels of Qi, each intimately connected with one of the viscera of the body, and each manifesting its own characteristic Qi (e.g. Liver Qi, Gallbladder Qi, etc.).  When the flow of Qi becomes unbalanced through physical, emotional, or environmental insults, illness may result.

TCM practitioners are trained to view the body, mind, and spirit as one system, as opposed to Western medicine practitioners, who are taught to regard each of these elements as separate.  Despite TCM's dramatically different approach, Westerners have been drawn to its practice because of its emphasis on healing the whole person and seeking the root cause of illness.  However, Westerners do often find it difficult to translate a TCM diagnosis or remedy into the western practice of medicine with which they are familiar.  For example, there is no direct translation for how a TCM practitioner might explain a patient’s condition as "cool with dampness," or an "imbalance in water," with a need to "tonify the kidneys" or "replenish Qi".

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complex system that requires many years of training to master.  This guide serves as an introduction to the practice of TCM, providing additional resources for your research.

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Acupuncture is the insertion of needles into the skin at specific points in order to affect the flow of energy.  Although acupuncture is the practice most often associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is not limited to the Chinese culture.  The Japanese and Koreans developed their own form of acupuncture with modifications, such as needle-less and trigger-point acupuncture.

Because of the breadth of the practice of acupuncture, a separate guide has been developed (see Acupuncture Resource Guide).

For additional resources on relevant Alternative and Complementary Resources, see our Resource Guides on:

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The five element theory, also called the five-phase theory, holds that everything in the universe, including our health, is governed by five natural elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. This theory underscores the Chinese belief that human beings, both physically and mentally, are intertwined with nature. Although it is difficult for Westerners to relate this philosophy to the Western approach to medicine, it is fundamental to the understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

In the five element theory, each of the five elements has a season and particular organs and senses associated with it, such as taste, color, sound. The wood element, for example, is associated with spring, the liver, and the gall bladder.   Similarly, the fire element is associated with early summer, the heart, and small intestines; the earth element corresponds to late summer, the stomach and spleen; metal is associated with autumn, the lungs and large intestine; and water is associated with winter, the kidneys and bladder.

In contrast to Western medicine's teaching of a separation between the mind and body, TCM views each organ as having particular body and mind functions, as illustrated in the belief that the liver is involved in planning, and in the storage of anger, while the gall bladder is the organ of decision-making.

To determine a patient’s composition of the five elements, a TCM practitioner asks many detailed questions that will provide clues as to the nature of their imbalances. They will ask about the person’s occupation, stress associated with it, what they like to eat, what physical problems they are experiencing, etc. Although a person may be oriented towards a particular element -- a person who is aggressive might be described as having a "wood" personality -- the Chinese believe that aspects of each of the five elements are present in every person at different times.

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In addition to the theory of the five elements, TCM practitioners employ the Eight Guiding Principles to analyze and differentiate the energetic imbalances in the body or the nature of a patient’s condition. The eight guiding principles actually consist of four polar opposites: yin/yang, cold/heat, deficiency (xu)/excess (shi), and interior/exterior.

Cold/Heat: This principle is used to determine the overall energy of the patient. A cold condition would be one marked by a slow metabolism, chills, pale skin, and a low-grade fever, while a hot condition would be characterized by a heightened metabolism, sensations of heat in the body, high fevers, and a flushed complexion.
Interior/Exterior: This principle describes symptoms in terms of the location of the patient’s problem. Exterior conditions are those caused by the invasion of the body by pathogens, and are usually acute and superficially located with a short duration. Exterior symptoms are those that affect the hair, skin, muscles, joints, peripheral nerves and blood vessels. Interior conditions result from pathogens that enter the interior of the body. Interior symptoms affect the organs, deep vessels and nerves, brain, spinal cord, and bones.
Deficiency/Excess: This principle describes the strength of an illness. In TCM, a deficient condition would be viewed as a lack of blood (such as in anemia), energy (Qi), heat, or fluids. Chronic illness would fall in this category. An excess condition, by contrast, means that the body has too much of something, such as Qi or blood. In TCM, an acute condition would be seen as an excess condition.
Yin/Yang: These principles are the generalization of the above principles, and a condition can be categorized in terms of the relative dominance of either yin and yang.  In Chinese medicine, all organisms have both yin and yang qualities and a balance of the two is necessary for good health. In general, yin energy is associated with cold, female energy, and represents the solid organs.  Yang is associated with hot, male energy, and represents the hollow organs.  Chronic illness is seen as yin, while acute illness is seen as yang.

According to TCM, the combination of these principles determine the nature or quality of the three consituents of the body, which are energy (Qi), moisture, and blood.  As described above, Qi is vital life energy.  Moisture is the liquid medium which protects, nurtures, and lubricates tissue, and blood is the material foundation out of which we create bones, nerves, skin, muscles, and organs.

TCM practitioners diagnose health problems using various combinations of the eight guiding principles.  For example, a patient might be diagnosed as having an "internal cold" or "external heat" condition. Used in conjunction with the five element theory, the eight guiding principles give the TCM practitioner a more complete picture of a patient’s energy imbalances and determine the treatment to be pursued through acupuncture, herbs, diet, and exercise.

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The diagnosis of a patient’s condition in TCM consists of three activities: an extensive interview, pulse diagnosis, and a tongue examination.

Interview: The first step in diagnosing a patient’s condition is an extensive interview by the TCM practitioner.  In addition to seeking information about the patient’s complaints, the practitioner will ask detailed questions about such issues as quality of sleep, dreams, appetite, preferred foods, and stress.  The practitioner is also trained to use the senses of observation, listening, and smelling.  Although smell is often camouflaged in the West by perfumes, deodorants, and breath mints, the Chinese believe it provides further knowledge about a person's health.  In the Five Element Theory, each element has a corresponding smell associated with it.
Pulse Diagnosis: Whereas Western doctors locate one pulse on the radial artery in the wrist, a practitioner of TCM feels for six pulses in each wrist: three superficial and three deep at specific points along the radial artery. The twelve pulses correspond to the internal organs.   For example, a deep pulse reading on the left wrist corresponds, top to bottom, to the heart, liver and kidney. Practitioners note the quality of the pulse in terms of frequency, rhythm, and volume and the Chinese have developed an elaborate vocabulary to describe a pulse, such as floating, thready, and slippery. Pulse taking requires years of training to master and is considered one of the most important diagnostic tools in Chinese medicine.
Tongue Examination: In addition to the pulse, the Chinese believe that the tongue is a strong barometer of human health. They developed an elaborate system to describe the condition of the tongue, including the color, texture, shape, size, and coating.  A very red tongue indicates a fever or inflammation and is described in TCM as an excessive internal heat or dampness condition. A white tongue indicates some kind of deficiency of energy (Qi), blood, or moisture. In this system, each part of the tongue corresponds to the condition of an organ. The tip of the tongue, for example, represents the heart and lung organs.

All three diagnostic techniques -- interview, pulse, and tongue -- provide useful information to the TCM practitioner regarding the nature of a patient’s condition.

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In China, herbal remedies are used as much as acupuncture to treat energy imbalances and illness. When considering the appropriate herbal remedy for a patient, practitioners of TCM apply medical theory - the Five Elements and Eight Guiding Principles - along with tongue and pulse diagnosis.

Herbs used in Chinese medicine are derived from plant, animal, and mineral substances.  Although plant-derived herbs, such as ginseng and ginger, are the most common, minerals and animal parts such as oyster shells, deer antlers, and bear gall bladder are also prescribed.  In China, herbs in powder form are boiled and made into a tea.  In the West, TCM practitioners often premix the herbal remedy or supply the herb in pill form, especially for those patients who find the bitter taste intolerable.

Herbs have four basic qualities and properties: nature, taste, affinity, and primary action.

Nature: An herb's nature is often described as cooling or heating, but it can also be described as moistening, relaxing, and energizing. The peppermint herb, for example, has a cooling energy, and is used to lower the metabolism or reduce gas and bloating.
Taste: Herbs are categorized by five tastes -- sour, bitter, sweet or bland, spicy, and salty, and herbs representing different tastes are used to treat different conditions.  Dandelion and goldenseal are two bitter herbs used for their drying properties in treating upper respiratory conditions.
Affinity: This property refers to the affinity that an herb has for a particular organ network.
Primary action: This property refers to the effect of a particular herb.  An herb may be used to dispel (move), astringe (restrain), purge (expel), or tonify (strengthen).

In creating the herbal formula for a patient, the TCM practitioner considers the effect or outcome of the remedy, such as aiding digestion, clearing mucus, or strengthening the immune system. Applying the Eight Guiding Principles, they also consider the energy of the illness, such as hot/cold, damp/wind, or some mixture of the principles.  Like the diagnostic tools of pulse and tongue reading, the prescription of herbal remedies takes a TCM practitioner years to master because it requires a deep understanding of medical theory and the complexity of herbs.

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All hospitals in China that are devoted to Traditional Chinese Medicine include a massage clinic along with acupuncture and herbal medicine. Chinese massage was developed over 2,000 years ago and was popular in the Tang, Ming, and Qing dynasties. The Chinese call this therapeutic bodywork tui na, which literally means "push" and "pull".

Tui na works with the energy system in the body (Qi), which flows through channels called meridians.  By stimulating or subduing the energy in the body, practitioners help bring the patient’s body back into balance. To determine what meridians need work, tui na practitioners feel the patient’s wrist pulse.   Because it is based on the same meridian points as acupuncture, tui na is often called "acupuncture without needles."

Two popular styles of tui na practiced today are the rolling and one-finger methods.

Rolling Method: This style was developed in Shanghai and is used for joint and soft tissue problems, as well as insomnia, migraines, and high blood pressure. 
One-Finger Method: This style is similar to shiatsu, practitioners push points along the meridians with the tip of the thumb or finger. This method is often used for chronic and internal problems, pediatrics and gynecological problems.

The Chinese believe that tui na regulates the nervous system so that Qi flows properly, boosts the immunological Qi of the body, and flushes metabolic waste out of the body.  It is a popular part of the practice of TCM in China because it is both comfortable and effective.

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In Traditional Chinese Medicine, diet and exercise play an important role in maintaining good health by contributing to an optimum balance of vital life energy (Qi).  In fact, the Chinese believe that diet is one of the three origins (diet, heredity, and environment) or sources of qi.  Therefore, according to TCM, the foods we eat directly influence the excesses and deficiencies in our bodies.

Unlike the American diet, which emphasizes a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, the Chinese approach to diet is grounded in the five element and eight guiding principles theory.  Foods are seen as having yin and yang, warming and cooling, drying and moistening properties.  Certain foods are better for some people than others, depending on their type and condition.  A person with a "cold damp" condition should not eat a diet of raw fruits and vegetables (which are yin), because they would further exaggerate the loss of body heat and fluid secretion.

Conversely, foods that are fried, broiled, high fat, or spicy are seen as warming (yang) because they generate heat and stimulate circulation. A person whose diagnosis is "hot dry" should avoid these foods, according to TCM.

In general, the Chinese approach to diet is to optimize digestion and increase qi, moisture, and blood, and aid the organ function. In this sense, it can be seen as an extension of herbal medicine.

In addition to diet, TCM includes a form of exercise called Qi gong, which is believed to optimize the flow of Qi in the body.  Qi gong incorporates posture, movement, breathing, meditation, visualization and conscious intent in order to cleanse or purify the qi.

There are two types of Qi gong practiced: internal and external.

Internal Qi gong: Used by individuals to maintain health by regulating Qi and harmonizing the internal energy of the body.  Internal Qi gong uses certain movements and breath work or visualization to gather and circulate Qi in the body.
External Qi gong: The practice of transferring the practitioner’s Qi to another person for healing purposes. This form of Qi gong is similar to other body work modalities in the West, such as therapeutic touch.

The movement postures of internal Qi gong have become the most common form of practice today and have been used as the basis for Tai Chi and other martial arts practices.

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NOTE: The following resource listings are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to be used as a guide for treatment.  They are provided for information only.  The resources are selected and categorized to help you with your own research.


Book Contents:

teeq.jpg (4224 bytes) General Titles
teeq.jpg (4224 bytes) Acupuncture
teeq.jpg (4224 bytes) The Five Element Theory
teeq.jpg (4224 bytes) Tongue and Pulse Diagnosis
teeq.jpg (4224 bytes) Chinese Herbs
teeq.jpg (4224 bytes) Massage
teeq.jpg (4224 bytes) Diet and Exercise

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Ted Kaptchuk
The Web That Has No Weaver
Contemporary Books, 2000

Comprehensive guide to the theory and practice of Chinese medicine. Includes theories, techniques, and reviews of scientific developments in the study of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and more, with a discussion of the possible adverse effects of these therapies.  Kaptchuk also examines how Chinese healing can be brought together with western medicine.


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Giovanni Maciocia
The Foundations of Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Text for Acupuncturists and Herbalists
Churchill Livingstone, 1989
Complete text that is especially helpful for students of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.


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Nigel Wiseman and Andrew Ellis
The Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine
Paradigm Publications, 1995 (rev.)
For those who are interested in a more direct translation from the Chinese, this textbook translates the classic medical textbook, Zhong Yi Ji Chu Xue.


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Harriet Beinfield, L.Ac. and Efrem Korngold, L.Ac., O.M.D.
Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine
Ballantine Books, 1992

Written by two long-time practitioners, this book is one of the most readable and thorough books available on TCM.  Within this comprehensive guide is an excellent overview of the five element theory, which the authors call "five-phase archetypes." The section includes case histories and a questionnaire to help readers figure out their type.


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Achim Eckert, M.D.
Chinese Medicine for Beginners: Using the Power of the Five Elements to Heal Body and Soul
Prima Publishing, 1996

Written by a western medical doctor who has studied both conventional and alternative practices, this book explains the benefits of Eastern medicine and its mind/body/spirit approach.


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David Eisenberg, M.D.
Encounters with Qi: Exploring Chinese Medicine
W.W. Norton & Company, 1995

Another book written by a western-trained physician, Eisenberg recounts his experiences of learning from numerous Chinese practitioners and lay people about qi, Chinese TCM clinics, acupuncture, herbal medicine, diet and massage.


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Nigel Wiseman, Andrew Ellis, Ken Boss, and Robert Felt
Grasping the Wind
Paradigm Publications, 1989

This book gives insight into the complexities of Chinese medicine, discussing difficult concepts such as the energetic point system, the spiritual, mental and emotional aspects of Chinese medicine, and the source, theory, and classical energetic anatomy and physiology..

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George Soulie De Morant and Lawrence Grinnel
Chinese Acupuncture
Paradigm Publications, 1994
An outstanding description of both the theory and practice of acupuncture.  This book is widely recognized as one of the best, most detailed, and most practical of clinical texts.


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Peking Staff Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine
An Outline of Chinese Acupuncture
LAU's Company, 1989
An excellent book on acupuncture, produced by the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 


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Nigel Wiseman, Ken Boss, and Andrew Ellis
Fundamentals of Chinese Acupuncture
Paradigm Publications, 1991
This text presents a thorough view of classical acupuncture alongside the modern approach. The authors have applied a precise method of translation, providing consistent information, in a systematic arrangement.

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Dianne M. Connelly, Ph.D.
Traditional Acupuncture: The Law of the Five Elements
Traditional Acupuncture Institute, 1994

Connelly provides one of the most readable and in-depth discussions of Five Element Theory. In addition to a thorough description of the five elements, Connelly explains how they are applied in a section on examination and diagnosis. She describes several case studies and vignettes, one with a detailed example of a patient interview.


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Kikko Matsumoto and Stephen Birch
Five Elements and Ten Stems: Nan Ching Theory, Diagnostics and Practice
Paradigm Publications, 1983
This clearly written book, based on the classic Chinese texts, explains the five element (or five-phase) theory and applies it to diagnosis and treatment.

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Bob Flaws
The Secret of Chinese Pulse Diagnosis
Blue Poppy Press, 1997
Flaws, a highly regarded Western practitioner of TCM,  explains how to do Chinese pulse diagnosis, which is one of the four main methods of diagnosis in TCM.


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Giovanni Maciocia
Tongue Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine
Eastland Press, 1995

This book provides a good history of the Chinese system of tongue diagnosis, with a clear explanation of how the Chinese diagnose conditions. The book includes excellent photos to illustrate what is meant by the variety of tongue conditions, such as pale, red, or swollen.


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Li Shi Zhen
Pulse Diagnosis
Paradigm Publications, 1985

Translated from the ancient classic Chinese text, Bin Hu Ma Xue, this text develops each of the basic pulses and their combinations, explaining the essentials of pulse diagnosis: depth, position, relation to areas of the body, seasonal variation, and organ relationships. The four principal pulses are detailed and explained and the variations of each are described.

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Hong-Yen Hsu and Associates
Oriental Materia Medica: A Concise Guide
Keats Publishing Inc., 1986

A comprehensive and more scientifically-oriented reference on Chinese herbal medicine.


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David Molony and Ming Ming Pan Molony, O.M.D.
The American Association of Oriental Medicine’s Complete Guide to Chinese Herbal Medicine
Berkeley Books, 1998

A thorough guide for the layperson, this book covers the basics and theories of herbal medicine, how they are used in treatment, and specific formulas and suppliers
.  Includes an alphabetized list of illnesses that can be treated with Chinese herbs, a glossary of common terms, a list of reputable suppliers, and more .


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Dan Bensky and Randall Barolet
Chinese Herbal Medicine: Formulas and Strategies
Eastland Press, 1990

This book serves as a well-written and readable reference guide to traditional Chinese herbal formulas that have been translated and compiled by the authors. Contains a good explanation of the functions of herbs and common conditions they treat.


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Warner J.W. Fan, M.D. and Kendra Crossen
A Manual of Chinese Herbal Medicine: Principles and Practice for Easy Reference
Shambhala Publications, 1996
A good reference covering both the diagnosis of conditions and therapy with Chinese herbs. Dr. Fan covers important basic concepts as well as causes of disease, classification of symptoms, methods of diagnosis, preventive measures, 342 formulas for common compound drugs, and more.


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Jake Fratkin
Chinese Herbal Patent Formulas
Shya Publications, 1985
A concise guide to both pill and extract remedies, this book includes a section on the recommended dosages for various herbs. A good book for students.


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Daniel P. Reid
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Shambhala Publications, 1992
Reid’s book serves as a brief, but good guide to the diagnosis and treatment of conditions using Chinese herbs.


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Ron Teeguarden, Xu Guo-Jun, Zhou Zhen-He
Radiant Health: The Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs
Warner Books, 1998
Teeguarden uses his more than 20 years of experience to explain the theory and art of herbal medicine, including an explanation of the five elements, yin-yang properties, and the mind/body connection. The book is easy to read and includes a rating system for herbs according to their various properties (antioxidant, organ support, etc.)

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Maria Mercati
The Handbook of Chinese Massage: Tui Na Techniques to Awaken Body and Mind
Healing Arts Press, 1997

Mercati provides a good introduction for health practitioners to the Chinese form of massage called tui na, with clear illustrations and photos. Mercati relates the practice of tui na to the five elements.


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Sarah Pritchard
Chinese Massage Manual: The Healing Art of Tui Na
Sterling Publications, 1999
Pritchard’s book provides a more theoretical orientation to the history and practice of tui na.


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Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming and Alan Dougall
Chinese Qigong Massage: General Massage
Ymaa Publications, 1992

An introduction to an ancient Chinese healing technique provides an overview of qigong theory and the history of its use in Chinese medicine before demonstrating techniques of self-massage and massage with a partner. Includes 500 photos and color drawings.

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Henry C. Lu
The Chinese System of Food Cures
Sterling Publications, 1986

Uses the theories and fundamentals of Chinese medicine to explain why certain foods are good or bad for you.


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Bob Flaws
The Tao of Healthy Eating
Blue Poppy Press, 1998

A good overview to the Chinese dietary beliefs, this book covers such topics as digestion, food choices, raw vs. cooked foods, and allergies.


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Garri Garripoli
Qi Gong: Essence of the Healing Dance
Health Communications, 1999
Many books have been written on the practice of
Qi gong, but Garripoli’s book discusses its origins and foundations in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The book also includes Qi gong exercises.


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Hong Liu
The Healing Art of Qi Gong: Ancient Wisdom from a Modern Master
Warner Books, 1999

Liu provides an inspirational account of his journey in becoming a
Qi gong master.

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Acupuncture Journals
See our resource guide on Acupuncture.

American Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine and
Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine
This site lists two research journals and one newsletter on clinical practice in which abstracts have been translated from the Chinese.

Chinese Medical Sciences Journal

The journal publishes original research papers, review papers and short communications on almost every branch of basic and clinical medicine, pharmacology and traditional Chinese medicine.

Clinical Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
The first international peer-reviewed quarterly journal to provide clinical information on the clinical practice, research, research reviews, educational issues, and management of clinical problems of acupuncture and oriental medicine.

Journal of Chinese Medicine
This quarterly English language journal provides professional and student-level information on the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine, including treatment of diseases, Chinese medical theory and practice, case reports and analysis, and book reviews.

Qi: The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health and Fitness
A quarterly publication distributed internationally, specializing in Eastern healthcare practices.  This website has a complete and categorized listing of research links-click on "Research & Links."

The following alternative and complementary medicine journals contain occasional relevant articles:

Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine
A bimonthly clinical research journal with particular emphasis on mind/body approaches to wellness.

Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
This peer-reviewed journal includes clinical trials, observational and analytical reports on treatments outside the realm of allopathic medicine.

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American Association of Oriental Medicine (AAOM)
433 Front Street
Catasauqua, PA 18032
Toll-Free: (888) 500-7999
(610) 266-1433
Fax: (610) 264-2768

The AAOM was formed to be the unifying force for practitioners of Oriental medicine in the U.S., and pledges to honor and support  the integrity of Oriental medicine by advocating excellence in professional standards.  Click on "Referral List" to see a state-by-state list of practitioners.

American Oriental Bodywork Therapy Association (AOBTA)
1010 Haddonfield-Berlin Rd, Suite 408
Voorhees, NJ 08043
Phone: (856) 782-1616
Fax: (856) 782-1653
The AOBTA is a national non-profit professional association of practitioners of Bodywork Therapies of Asia, including Five Element Shiatsu and Tuina.

Community Acupuncture Network
P.O. Box 18157
Portland, OR 97218
CAN's mission is to make acupuncture more affordable and accessible by promoting acupuncture clinics around the country that provide low-cost acupuncture services. The organization has hundreds of acupuncturist members, and dozens of clinics are listed on its website.

National Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NAAOM)
44 Linden Street
Brookline, MA 02146
Email: or
The NAAOM aims to provide a common forum for discussion and development of research, education, and scientific excellence in acupuncture and oriental medicine.

National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
11 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 300
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 548-9004
Fax: (703) 548-9079
This organization is responsible for managing a national certification examination, a requirement for licensure in the majority of states.  The site provide information on the examination and a searchable data base of practitioners.

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Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin (AOMA)
2700 W. Anderson Lane, Suite 204
Austin, TX 78757
Phone: (512) 454-1188
Fax: (512) 454-7001
The goal of the academy is for the students to understand the philosophies of Western and Oriental medicine as they develop their intuitive healing skills.  AOMA strives to graduate dedicated and integrated healers, who will balance their strong didactic education and extensive clinical training with compassion and sensitivity toward their patients.
Offers degree: Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

American College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM)
9100 Park West Drive
Houston, TX 77063
Phone: (713) 780-9777
Toll-free: (800) 729-4456
Fax: (713) 781-5781
Offers an M.S. in Oriental medicine.

American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
455 Arkansas Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone: (415) 282-7600
Fax: (415) 282-0856
The ACTCM is a private independent graduate school preparing candidates to enter the practice of traditional Chinese medicine, instilling in graduates the theoretical structures and analytical abilities necessary for continued professional learning through their practice, and providing graduates with an understanding of bioethics and professional responsibilities.

New York College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
155 First Street
Mineola, NY 11501
Phone: (845) 258-1732


Offers ACAOM accredited combined Bachelor/Masters degree programs in acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Pacific College of Oriental Medicine
Pacific College is the largest school of Oriental medicine in the nation, offering a four-year Master's degree program.  This school is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and its graduates are eligible for state licensure and national certification.

Chicago Campus:
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine
3725 North Southport
Chicago, IL 60613
Toll-Free: (888) 729-4811
Phone: (773) 477-4822

New York Campus:
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine
915 Broadway, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10010
Toll-Free: (800) 729-3468
Phone: (212) 982-3456

San Diego Campus:
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine   
7445 Mission Valley Rd., Suite 105
San Diego, CA 92108
Toll-Free: (800) 729-0941
Phone: (619) 574-6909
Fax: (619) 574-6641

Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NIAOM)

701 North 34th Street, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98103-8800
Phone: (206) 633-2419
Toll-free: (877) 207-5875
Fax: (206) 633-5578
E-Mail:, admissions:
Offers an M.S. in acupuncture and in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Schools and Institutes of Chinese Medicine
A state-by-state listing of 67 schools and institutes in the U.S. and Canada, all of which have 4 to 18 years of experience.

The Wellspring Center for Eastern Healing Arts and Education
1514 W. Franklin St.
Boise, ID 83702
Phone: (208) 388-0206
The goals of the Wellspring are to inspire enthusiasm for wellness of body, mind and spirit, to provide education in the theory and practice of wholistic health and Classical Chinese Medicine, and to be a cohesive healthcare community of practice focused on East Asian medical principles.  Some of the services offered include TCM, acupuncture, and Chinese Herbal Therapy.

See our Acupuncture Resource Guide for many more colleges and training centers in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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NOTE: Promotional and commercial sites are not included in this listing unless they provide significant impartial information resources.

Chinese Medicine Sampler
Learn about Chinese medicine principles, such as tongue/pulse diagnosis, the five elements, herbal medicine, and more.   Click on "Diagnostic Questionnaire"  to obtain a mock diagnosis by a USA national board certified M.S. in Oriental medicine for a fee. Medicine
Formerlly known as, this site has many useful links to all aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Click on "Professional and Student Resources" for links to resources on continuing education, professional organizations, schools of chinese medicine, and more.

HealthWorld Online: Traditional Chinese Medicine
Comprehensive information on TCM, including the basic principles of yin and yang, anatomy, Qi, methods of diagnosis, the five elements, and the pathogenesis of disease.

History of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Provides several links to information on TCM.

Oriental Medicine Internet Resources
Complete and categorized listing of web resources on TCM.

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Last Updated: May 6, 2010
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