Traditional Chinese Medicine


  • Traditional Chinese medicine, which encompasses many different practices, is rooted in the ancient philosophy of Taoism and dates back more than 5,000 years. Today, TCM is practiced side by side with Western medicine in many of China’s hospitals and clinics.
  • TCM is widely used in North America. More Americans are using acupuncture, herbal remedies and other components of traditional Chinese medicine than ever before. The reasons for this vary, but the increasing interest in, and use of, TCM is due in large part to its effectiveness, affordability and lack of adverse side-effects compared to Western medicine.
  • TCM treatments focus not only on solving current problems, but also on preventive care, maintenance, restoring and balancing the nervous system, regulating the production of hormones, and strengthening the immune system.
  • The theoretical framework of TCM has a number of key components:
    • Yin-yang theory: the concept of two opposing yet complementary forces that shape all life and the world. This is central to TCM.
    • Meridians: In the TCM, a vital energy or life force called qi circulates in the body through a system of pathways called meridians. Health is an ongoing process of maintaining balance and harmony in the circulation of qi.
    • TCM uses eight principles to analyze symptoms and categorize conditions: cold/heat, interior/exterior, yin/yang, and excess/deficiency (the chief principles).
    • TCM uses the theory of five elements– fire, earth, metal, wood, and water– to explain how the body works; these elements correspond to particular organs and tissues in the body.

These concepts are documented in the Huang Di Nei Jing (Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor), the classic Chinese medicine text.

  • Diagnosis in traditional Chinese medicine is simple yet effective — diagnostic observation includes looking, listening, smelling, asking, and touching.
  • Traditional Chinese medicine encompasses several methods designed to help patients achieve and maintain health. Along with acupuncture, TCM incorporates adjunctive techniques such as acupressure and moxibustion, manipulative and massage techniques such as tuina and gua sha, herbal medicine, reiki, shiatsu, pulse diagnosis, diet and lifestyle changes, meditation, and exercise (often in the form of qigong or tai chi).
Frank Chen

Frank Chen


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Tuesday 8:00am – 7.30pm
Friday 8:00am – 6.30pm
Saturday 8:00am – 1:30pm



Coverage Most extended health care plans cover all or part of treatments up to a maximum amount. Maximums vary by plan.
Direct billing
Available to the following companies:
• Blue Cross
• Canada Life
• Chamber of Commerce
• Claims Secure
• Desjardins
• Empire Life
• Equitable Life
• Great West Life
• Green Shield
• Industrial Alliance
• Manion
• ManuLife
• Maximum Benefits
• Standard Life
• SunLife
• Cowan Insurance
• Johnson


Coverage Most extended health care plans cover all or part of treatments up to a maximum amount. Maximums vary by plan.
Direct billing Available to the following companies:
• Blue Cross
• Chamber of Commerce
• Desjardins
• Equitable Life
• Great West Life
• Green Shield
• Industrial Alliance
• ManuLife
• Standard Life
• SunLife
• Cowan Insurance
• Johnson

Symptoms & Conditions Commonly Treated by TCM


Pain management, Migraine, Headaches, Arthritis, Sciatica, Asthma, Joint pain, Arthritis, Neuralgia, Insomnia, Low back pain, Neck pain, Shoulder pain

Women's issues

Menstrual irregularities, Menstrual cramps, PMS, Infertility, Incontinence, Urinary tract infections

Mental health

Mental clarity, Focus, Memory issues, Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia, Addiction (alcohol, nicotine, drugs)

Men's issues

Prostate, Sexual dysfunction, Infertility

Children's issues

Cough, Digestive problems, Behavioural problems, Ear infections, Sleep problems


Respiratory: Emphysema, Sinusitis, Asthma, Allergies,

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Bronchitis, Circulatory: hypertension, Angina pectoris, Arteriosclerosis, Anemia, Digestive: constipation, Colitis, IBS, Peptic ulcer, Indigestion, Abdominal pain, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Nausea, Haemorrhoids, Gallstones, Gastronintestinal: food allergies, Peptic ulcer, Chronic diarrhea, Indigestion, Anorexia, Gastritis, Other: fatigue, Low energy, High blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, Diabetes, Poor circulation, High cholesterol


Relaxation, Stress management, Wellness maintenance


How is assessing a patient different in TCM than in Western medicine?

  • observing (especially the tongue),
  • hearing/smelling,
  • asking/interviewing, and
  • touching/palpating (especially the pulse).

The practitioner makes a dynamic conceptualization of the individual’s situation to determine the type of disharmony for the individual. This status is called ‘zheng’ or ‘syndrome’. The therapeutics used to restore the harmony within the person and between the person and their environment are determined by the identified ‘syndrome’.

What are the variety of therapies TCM practitioners use to promote health and treat disease?
The most commonly used are Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. Acupuncture Other TCM therapies include:

  • moxibustion
  • cupping
  • Tuina
  • dietary therapy and
  • mind-body therapies such as qi gong and tai chi.
What is herbal medicine?
Herbal preparations of various forms are also used in TCM to restore and maintain health. These herbal prescriptions are composed of single herbs that are chosen for their unique properties, tailored to the individual’s specific needs. The Chinese materia medica (a pharmacological reference book used by TCM practitioners) contains hundreds of medicinal substances, primarily plants, but also some minerals and animal products, classified by their perceived action in the body. Different parts of plants such as the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds are used.
What is Tuina?
Tuina is a form of oriental bodywork that uses therapeutic manipulations to affect not only the muscles and joints, but also the flow of energy in the body. Because of its focus on the stimulation of specific points along the energy channels, it may be considered a form of acupuncture. However, being a treatment without needles, it especially well suited to pediatric care.
What is moxibustion?
Moxibustion is the process whereby moxa, a dried herb, is burned, either directly on the skin, or just above the skin, over specific acupuncture points relative to a condition. When lit, moxa burns slowly and provides a penetrating heat that can enter the channels, or meridians to influence qi and blood flow. A very common form of indirect moxabustion uses moxa sticks, which resemble large cigars or incense sticks. These are lit and held about an inch above the point or area to be treated. They are usually rotated or turned quickly toward, and then away from the skin.

The choice of when, where, and if moxabustion is to be used is a matter of clinical judgement for the practitioner, in consultation with the patient.

What is Chinese cupping?
Cupping is the term applied to a technique that uses small glass cups or bamboo jars as suction devices that are placed on the skin. A practitioner can create the suction in the cups through various methods. Once the suction has occurred, the cups can be gently moved across the skin (often referred to as “gliding cupping). The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup.

Cupping is much like the inverse of massage – rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. For most patients, this is a particularly relaxing and relieving sensation. Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for about ten minutes while the patient relaxes.

What TCM safe?
Traditional Chinese Medicine as undergone some of the most rigorous testing and research of all the treatment options offered by complementary and alternative therapies. Furthermore, the two treatments most often utilized in TCM clinical practice, acupuncture and herbal medicine, are supported as effective by many research studies.

Although there is much work to be done before we can truly understand the mechanisms of acupuncture and Qi, there is a growing body of solid evidence that suggests acupuncture and TCM are safe and effective for the treatment of many conditions.

More importantly, Chinese medicine may have much to offer us in the West in terms of things we can do to prevent illness and disease, optimize our health, and enhance our wellbeing. From the University of Minnesota. “Taking Charge of Your Wellbeing”

Is Traditional Chinese Medicine regulated?
The passing of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Act in 2006 created the self-regulatory body of The College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario, which as of April 1, 2013, now demands that every practitioner must pass a series of tests, or display that they have equivalent experience after having seen at least 2,000 patients in the last five years, to register with the register with the College. The new rules make Ontario one of just two provinces in Canada to regulate traditional Chinese medicine. British Columbia is the other.

Frank Chen is a registered with College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario and is able to use the designation R.TCMP (Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner).

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Halton Chiropractic and Wellness
250 Wyecroft road, Unit 5 Oakville
ON L6K 3T7

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