The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach is fundamentally different from that of Western or conventional medicine. In TCM, the understanding of the human body is based on the holistic understanding of the universe as described in Daoism and the treatment of illness is based on primarily on the diagnosis and differentiation of syndromes. TCM medicine treatment starts with the analysis of the entire system, then focuses on the correction of pathological changes through readjusting the functions of the zang-fu organs.
The clinical diagnosis and treatment in TCM are mainly based on the yin-yang and five elements theories. These theories apply the phenomena and laws of nature to the study of the physiological activities and pathological changes of the human body and it interrelationships. The typical TCM include acupuncture, herbal medicine and qigong exercises.
Graduates from TCM courses are able to diagnose in Western medical terms, prescribe Western pharmaceuticals and undertake minor surgical procedures. In effects, they practice TCM as a specialty within the broader organization of Chinese health care.