In the simplest terms possible, TCM is a way of looking at ourselves and our world that sees everything as a whole and considers everything in context. In TCM this perspective is called "taking whole."
This perspective is applied to everything affecting our health and wellbeing; from our diet, exercise, and how we handle stress; to how we interact with our family and friends, our community, and our environment.
Thus TCM not only identifies and treats illness and prevents disease but, just as importantly, optimizes health, wellbeing, and sustainability in our lives and in our world.
How is it related to "Oriental Medicine"?
TCM is the official form of Chinese medicine practiced in the People's Republic of China, and is one of the many systems of medicine that can be classified as "Oriental medicine." Oriental medicine is a term that encompasses diverse medical theories and applications developed and practiced in the Far East, including China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
TCM is probably the most frequently encountered and most familiar of the Asian medical systems, and it has an extensive body of literature and research supporting it.
Today TCM is practiced throughout the world, with about 14,000 practitioners in the United States alone. As more and more people explore new ways of complementing their existing healthcare, it's not unlikely that you know someone who uses this ancient Asian system. For these reasons, TCM is an excellent starting point to learn more about complementary medical systems from Asia.