Debunking 5 Common Misconceptions About TCM In Singapore
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Debunking 5 Common Misconceptions About TCM In Singapore

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been around for more than 2000 years and even though it is consistently gaining traction for being an alternative treatment method, there are still many misconceptions surrounding the practice due to preconceived notions that some may have.

In this article, we will be debunking the common misconceptions about TCM so you can make more informed decisions if you are considering visiting a TCM clinic in Singapore

Misconception #1: TCM is unregulated

One of the most common misconceptions is that TCM is unregulated, unlike Western medicine.

In fact, TCM is regulated by the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board (TCMPB) in Singapore, a statutory board under the Ministry of Health. TCM practitioners have to undergo 5 years of full-time curriculum to obtain a bachelor’s degree in TCM and pass the Singapore TCM Physician Registration Examination before they are considered for full registration. 

Full registration allows a TCM practitioner to practise on his own or in a TCM clinic in Singapore


Lady Having a TCM Acupuncture


Misconception #2: TCM only involves herbs

One of the most well-known aspects of TCM is the use of herbs to address health problems. However, there is more than meets the eye. Here are some of the other treatments methods TCM utilises: 

  • Acupuncture – the practice of inserting fine needles into the skin at acupuncture points to keep the balance between Yin and Yang, allowing the flow of chi throughout the body to restore health. 
  • Cupping – using warm glass or plastic cups over the body to create suction which can help with relieving pain and inflammation, and increasing circulation. 
  • Moxibustion – consists of burning dried mugwort on certain points of the body to help with pain due to injury or arthritis and even digestive problems. 
  • Tui na – a type of massage technique in which pressure is applied to acupoints that lie along meridians to harmonise Yin and Yang in the body, and regulate the function of the internal organs. 

Misconception #3: TCM is less effective than Western medicine

While both TCM and Western medicine have their own benefits, it ultimately depends on each individual’s condition.

TCM takes on a more holistic approach in which natural treatments are prescribed to aid your body in healing, one of the key principles of TCM, as compared to Western medicine that uses a more direct approach. For instance, your physician may recommend a few treatments, like acupuncture and taking herbs at the same time when you visit a TCM clinic, to help with not just the condition, but also overall health. On the other hand, a general practitioner may prescribe medications to treat a localised problem or refer you to a specialist for more in-depth checks. 

There is no one size fits all solution, so it is always recommended to find something you are comfortable with, regardless of whether it is the TCM or Western medicine approach. 

Misconception #4: Acupuncture is painful

Acupuncture is a popular TCM treatment thanks to its benefits but many are reluctant to start due to the belief that it is painful. On the contrary, despite involving the insertion of needles, acupuncture is usually painless and even if you feel any, it would be very mild. 

More than feeling pain, acupuncture will typically result in sensations such as a dull ache or tingling. This is a sign that the treatment is working as it shows that energy in the particular acupoint has been activated. 

Nevertheless, it is worth taking note that everybody has a different pain tolerance level and it is fine to inform your physician should you be feeling any discomfort during the process. 


Patient Consulting for a TCM Treatment


Misconception #5: TCM cannot be used on children

Unlike what most believe, TCM can actually be used on children and is great at providing relief for common ailments. 

Paediatric massage therapy, herbal medications and herbal packs are even available for kids to boost their immune system, reducing their tendency of falling sick.

Children as young as six months old can undergo TCM treatments but it is always advisable to bring them to an experienced and licensed TCM physician. 

Consider visiting a TCM clinic in Singapore for acupuncture or other TCM treatments. Thomson Chinese Medicine has more than 10 years of experience in providing tailored TCM care, even for individuals undergoing western treatments. Get in touch with us to learn more about our services.

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