By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

Understanding Traditional Chinese Medicine


If you’re like most women we’ve worked with, you’ve probably tried many different treatment options to manage migraine attacks. Chances are, a lot of them were from a Western medicine perspective, so when we talk about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM - ZhongYi - 中医) concepts such as Qi, Yin, Yang, the five organs theory, the theory of body constitution and the five seasons, we know it’s a different way of looking at health and illness. Possibly even quite cryptic and abstract.

It took our founder years of study and learning the Chinese language to understand and apply the concepts and practices of TCM because the concepts are very different from the Western approach to health. 


TCM approaches health and disease holistically, yet it’s even more complex than that. TCM recognises that everything in the universe is connected (remember that migraine you had when the weather changed?). You’re more than just a collection of organs, muscles, and tissues; you’re connected with your emotions, nature and the world You’re in a constant change of motion, influenced by what stage of life you’re in and the world around you. 

When you work with us, we apply the concepts of TCM that are relevant specifically for you. 


Qi, Yin and Yang: connection and balance


In TCM, Qi is the vital energy, or life force, needed to maintain health and wellbeing. An imbalance of Qi within your body causes disease and illness. Qi is an intangible energy yet is the essence of life.


Loosely translated, Yin and Yang are opposite yet interdependent forces, or energy. Everything in our universe, and therefore everything within you, consists of Yin and Yang. Yin is the part of Qi that is dark, cold and heavy; therefore Yang is hot, light, sun and energy. Night is Yin and day is Yang, yet one can’t exist without the other. Everything has some aspect of Yin and some aspect of Yang, and it’s that balance that creates and maintains Qi.


Your vital organs are Yin or Yang. A Yin organ is paired with a Yang organ, and together they are connected with other body organs and systems through meridians, and are associated with different emotions.



The five elements: the rhythm and interaction of nature


Each paired organ, system and emotion are connected with one of five elements (sometimes referred to as the five phases): wood, fire, earth, metal and water. These five elements represent the seasons and relate to stages of life. They are always moving and changing. The elements provide the blueprint for how nature interacts with your body at this moment in time, and the life force of Qi.


What makes you unique: body constitution


In TCM, every person has a unique body constitution, which changes over time. Your constitution can affect how you feel, your actions and your health and wellbeing.


Nine body constitution types and traits


Neutral: adaptable, energetic, shiny hair

Intrinsic: sensitive to the changing seasons, often affected by nose congestion

Qi deficient: easily tired, breathless, quiet and introverted

Yang deficient: easily cold, prefers summer and hot meals

Yin deficient: hot flushes, doesn’t enjoy hot weather, always thirsty, extrovert

Phlegm-dampness: always sweating, lethargic, mild mannered and patient

Damp-heat: oily skin, acne, always thirsty

Blood stasis: doesn’t enjoy cold weather, dark circles under the eyes, bruises easily

Qi-stagnation: susceptible to depression, tends to overthink and worry


Functional foods and teas specific to your body constitution can help restore balance and improve your health. For example, if you are yin deficient, we may recommend goji berries or flaxseeds. If you have blood stasis, hawthorn berries or rosebud   tea can help.


Everything in life is connected. You are connected to everything around you. As we help restore balance in your body, we create a healthy body and a healthy mind.


Traditional Chinese Medicine – A Beginner’s Guide

Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation

Symptom characteristics and prevalence of qi deficiency syndrome in people of varied health status and ages: A multicenter cross-sectional study

Mosher Health

DISCLAIMER: Information on this website is provided as general information only about our service and approach to migraine management. It isn’t intended as medical advice or diagnosis, and shouldn’t be relied on as a substitute for medical advice from a health professional.

Any recommendations of functional foods and teas and quantities are also for general information only. Some functional foods and teas mentioned on the website have contraindications and should only be consumed following advice from a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner.

Ready to transform your health?

Get migraine diagnostic