Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a holistic approach to optimising the health and wellness of an individual. Chinese herbal medicine, and Tui Na (traditional Chinese massage), can be used by themselves or alongside acupuncture to maximise well-being or recovery and as a long term strategy to prevent illness.

The basic theories of TCM include the concept of balancing Yin and Yang. When Yin and Yang forces are imbalanced, it can result in negative symptoms and disease so TCM works by addressing these imbalances and therefore treating the underlying cause rather just the symptoms. Qi is the name used to describe the life force which allows our bodies to function correctly. The treatments also aim to dislodge any blockages of Qi so that it can flow freely, allowing optimal health.

Chinese herbal medicine blends can be made from plant, mineral or animal substances. They can be taken as a tea, in pill form or applied to the body externally. Each patient is prescribed a blend to suit their specific needs. Research has shown Chinese herbs to be effective in treating influenza (1) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)(2), at preventing Type 2 diabetes(3) and more effective than aspirin at reducing the incidence of vascular events following a stroke(4). Many people combine western medical treatment with TCM (it’s important to tell your practitioners about treatments you are already undergoing).  For people who suffer from conditions for which western medicine currently offers limited treatment, such as IBS, TCM can be especially useful.

Tui Na is a traditional Chinese massage which is both relaxing and invigorating. It works using acupressure points to maximise the flow of Qi and promote healing from within. It can instantly relieve muscle pain and tension providing relief from headaches, neck and shoulder pain and other injuries or discomfort. After a treatment patients may feel extremely relaxed, energised, clear-headed or euphoric. The massage can be done fully clothed.

Drs Tao Sun and Ying Sun work from York Clinic on Thursdays and they offer a range of traditional Chinese medicine treatments including acupuncture, herbal medicine and Tui na massage. They treat many complaints including nerve pain, muscle pain, sports injuries, headache, arthritis, neck, shoulder and pack pain. They use a combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine to treat infertility by improving the function of the womb. They have found it effective in treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome /Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)(5), sciatic nerve pain and slipped discs in the spine are treated quicker when a combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine is used. Drs Sun have also had good results treating skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis using herbal medicine.

Amanda Preston works from the York Clinic on a Monday and Wednesday and uses Tui na massage and acupuncture to treat patients.

Book a consultation and they can talk with you about your needs and advise you on what combination of treatments will be most effective for you.

Evidence and Research: 

Professional association: Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine

Review of research into TCM:


  1. Oseltamivir compared with the Chinese traditional therapy maxingshigan-yinqiaosan in the treatment of H1N1 influenza: a randomized trial Wang et al, 2011
  2. Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with Chinese herbal medicine: a randomized controlled trial. Bensoussan et al, 1998.
  3. Chinese herbal medicine Tianqi reduces progression from impaired glucose tolerance to diabetes: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. Lian et al, 2014.
  4. Effects of MLC601 on early vascular events in patients after stroke: the CHIMES study. Chen et al, 2013.
  5. Traditional Chinese Medicine for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

If you would like more information on Traditional Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture or Tui na please contact York Clinic or to book an appointment phone 01904 709688 between 9am and 6pm on weekdays, or between 9am and 2pm on Saturdays.  Alternatively, email us at, or use our contact form.  We will respond to you as quickly as possible.