The TCVM Theory

Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) has been practiced for thousands of years and continues to evolve. It is a collection of healing modalities that when combined, synergistically can produce an overall balance in the body which in turn allows the body to heal itself. These modalities include acupuncture, herbal medicine, food therapy, tui na, feng shui and qi gong.

TCVM theory is based on a collection of concepts including Yin and Yang, the Eight Principles, the Five Elements and the Zang Fu organ systems of the body. TCVM involves treatment that creates the opposite condition that is diagnosed. Yin and Yang are the foundation to the principles of TCVM. The Eight Principles are an expansion of Yin and Yang and allow us to determine the location and severity of an animal’s imbalance. TCVM determines where the pathology is located – interior or exterior, how the body responds to the pathology – hot or cold, and whether the pathology is due to an excess or deficiency. Understanding the disease process in regards to the Eight Principles can help one determine the pattern diagnosis for each individual patient and therefore devise an appropriate treatment protocol. For example, an animal with orthopedic pathology (i.e. osteoarthritis) that is constantly seeking shade or prefers cool will likely have a Kidney Yin deficiency and excess Yang. In TCVM theory, the musculoskeletal system belongs to the kidney element. Treatment would include nurturing the Yin and kidneys through specific acupuncture points, as well as incorporating cooling foods and appropriate herbal remedies to assist in correcting the imbalance.

TCVM carefully examines the pulse quality and tongue characteristics to assist in determining a pattern diagnosis. Western medicine diagnostics can very much assist in evaluating each case and should be incorporated when devising any treatment protocol. The goals of western and eastern medicine are generally the same – to promote health and eliminate disease. Both systems have their strengths and weaknesses but when combined, health can be achieved. Western medicine can be quite effective when managing acute disease (i.e. fractured leg and surgical intervention), whereas eastern modalities can be more beneficial for chronic disease syndromes, especially when western medicine can only partially manage or not provide any benefit at all. Bridging the mental gap that is embedded in our minds and using both worlds to provide a better outcome is the primary goal when utilizing eastern modalities in a western world.

For more information visit these websites

Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine (
Healing Oasis Wellness Center (
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (