"Classic" or "traditional" chinese medicine is the generic term for the five pillars of health hygiene - Qi Gong, nutrition, drug therapy, acupuncture and tuina - the chinese massage respectively physiotherapy (which gave origin to the japanese Shiatsu). The sequence describes a descending order. In China qi gong masters and nutrition experts are the most respected therapists.
Chinese therapy is working with order and alteration both for acute conditions and chronical and degenerative deseases.
Like western medicine chinese medicine has a concept of desease progression, i.e. the more acute the impairment the better and quicker therapy works. Concrete symptoms of organs are mostly result of a long existing deficiency.
The strong point of chinese medicine is the diagnostic ability aquired in centuries of experience to identify upcoming deseases in an early stage.
Its full potential therefore lies in prevention. "If someone digs a well only when thirsty, or forges weapons only after becoming engaged in battle, one cannot help but ask: Aren’t these actions too late?" (Qi Bo, personal physician of the yellow emperor, about 2600 B.C.)
Purpose of therapy is to adjust energetic imbalances. Its principles are: Dispersion of excess, supplement of deficiency, release of stagnation, calming of anomalies - either by applying certain foods or medicines and/or by stimulation of energetically effective points of the body with needles or finger pressure.