What is TCM?

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (TCM) dates back over 2500 years and is based on qi (functional energy), meridian theory, yin/yang, five elements, zang-fu, fundamental substances, six excesses and the eight principles (yin/yang, hot/cold, excess/deficiency, internal/external).

There are five diagnostic methods employed in Chinese medical: inspection, auscultation, olfaction, inquiry and palpation, which includes reading the tongue and taking the pulse (6 positions). The Chinese medicine practitioner will arrive at a pattern differentiation and the treatment aims to rectify the imbalances in the body and bring about a sense of wellbeing.


Traditional Chinese acupuncture is based on TCM theory. Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the skin and underlying tissues in key points on the meridians of the body to remove blockages and balance excess and deficiencies in the channels and organs. In western terms, the stimulation of certain  ‘acupoints’ with needles is thought to induce rhythmic reactions that cause a release of endogenous opioids and oxytocin. Auricular (ear) acupuncture has an anti-inflammatory and immune-regulatory effect. In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Laura Ichajapanich
MSc (Chinese Medicine), Dip Tuina, BA (hons), MBAcC

Laura Bio PicLaura was born in Asia and has returned to her roots through her interest in Chinese medical and martial arts. She began teaching taijiquan (tai chi) in 1998, which laid the foundation for her Masters in Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture) at London South Bank University. During her 6-month internship at Heilongjiang University in China Laura learnt to combine her feeling of qi movement resulting from 20 years of taiji (tai chi) with knowledge of acupoints and Traditional Chinese medical (TCM) theory. She has developed a practice that incorporates the yang sheng (health cultivation) aspect of exercise with a more hands on approach of tuina (Chinese medical massage) and the powerful yet subtle techniques of traditional Chinese acupuncture.

Laura has worked at Cancerkin for over 3 years and also has a private practice based around London. She specialises in musculo-skeletal problems, stress and emotional issues, gynaecological issues, fertility and IVF as well as symptoms associated with menopause, cancer and Parkinson’s. Laura is  a co-founder of Belsize Health.