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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

中藥

TCM is rooted in a holistic approach to health — meaning that it treats the whole person rather than highly specific symptoms.

3,000 years in the making

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a nearly 3,000-year-old health practice that harnesses the powers of natural healing practices for a wide array of benefits. TCM is primarily concerned with the concept of internal imbalance: what causes it, ways to treat it, and how correcting it can help us live longer and fuller lives. This widely-used and highly-respected form of medicine, throughout Asia and the world over, is centered around a prevention-based system for healing the body and mind.

TCM is rooted in a holistic approach to health — meaning that it treats the whole person rather than highly specific symptoms or conditions. In addition to diagnosing and treating illness, TCM seeks to prevent illness by addressing imbalances at an early stage before they become more serious problems.

The essential components of TCM

TCM specialists practice a variety of techniques to treat and prevent health problems and diseases both physical and mental. Including:

Herbal Medicine — A core component of TCM. Herbs are used in combination to treat various conditions by promoting balance in the body.

Acupuncture — The insertion of thin needles into certain points on the body, in an effort to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, or promote healing more broadly throughout the body.

Tai Chi — A meditative martial art comprising a series of slow-moving exercises that can help promote better balance, flexibility, and muscle tone.

Cupping — The application of suction cups to particular areas of the skin in order to relieve pain or improve circulation.

Qi Gong — A simultaneous combination of movement, meditation, and breathwork. This practice helps achieve better balance, flexibility, and muscle tone while also promoting clarity of mind and stress reduction.

Western vs. Eastern medicine

In contrast to Western medicine, which focuses on treating symptoms and targeting specific organs or systems within the body (an approach inherited from Industrial Revolution-era views of the human-body-as-machine), TCM seeks to diagnose the root cause of the problem and address it at its source within a greater, interdependent ecosystem. 

While Western medicine can offer unparalleled support when it comes to acute illnesses, surgeries, and medications, it can fall short when it comes to addressing some more elusive (yet all too common) conditions such as stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, impaired immunity, and other chronic illnesses of the body and mind.

A TCM practitioner will examine your symptoms, take note of any other conditions that might be contributing (such as allergies or stress), and try to identify the cause through the body’s natural signs such as pulse rate and tongue color. From there they will work to restore balance and harmony in your mind/body connection to prevent a negative reaction if and when you are exposed to the same root cause again.

Herbal formulas in TCM

Many people the world over will be familiar with the experience of walking into a Chinese herbal shop. The striking sight and smell of an incredible variety of herbs sitting in bags and jars on shelves or in countless small drawers along the walls. Waiting in line for a consultation with a TCM doctor who takes note of your pulse, blood pressure, tongue, lifestyle, and so on. Receiving a wrapped bundle of personalized prescription herbs to take home, boil, and ingest. These bundles of various herbs are also prepared, boiled, and dried into granules that go into capsules available for purchase. And those same granules are what give Reprise gummies their potency.

Synergy is an intrinsic part of herbal medicine — up to 20 herbs can be combined in one single herbal formula. The complex synergistic interactions among those herbs in such formulations are believed to enhance the bioavailability of active components, promote therapeutic effects, and/or reduce levels of toxicity in the body.

While herbal formulas contain great healing, balancing, and preventative powers, it’s no secret that they are rarely appetizing. So we spent a great amount of time and effort developing flavors that would appeal to both contemporary palates and longtime TCM users who have never had a significantly better tasting product before. 

The state of Chinese Medicine today

In the United States, there has been a steady presence and growth of Traditional Medicine (also referred to interchangeably as Complementary or Alternative Medicine) over recent decades. There are now more than 50 herbal medicine training programs within the U.S. alone. Functional herbs have become far more prevalent on U.S. store shelves as well, both in entirely herbal medicines and as additives in mass market products (Keep an eye out for “botanicals” in your favorite cough syrup).

That said, there are plenty of herbal products that have been found to be contaminated with undeclared plant or animal material, drugs, heavy metals, pesticides, or compounds called sulfites, or simply the incorrect herbs. That’s another reason why it is of the utmost importance that Reprise and our partners follow a stringent sourcing process.

Read more about the research on our Science page.

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