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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a broad range of medicine practices sharing common concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 2,000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, exercise (qigong), and dietary therapy. TCM "holds that the body's vital energy (qi) circulates through channels, called meridians, that have branches connected to bodily organs and functions." Concepts of the body and of disease used in TCM has notions of a pre-scientific culture, similar to European humoral theory.
Acupuncture is the stimulation of precisely defined, specific Acupuncture Points along the skin of the body involving various methods such as penetration by thin needles or the application of heat, pressure, or laser light. In a modern acupuncture session, an initial consultation is followed by taking the pulse on both arms and inspecting the tongue. Classically, in clinical practice, acupuncture is highly individualized and based on philosophy and intuition, and not on controlled scientific research. The number and frequency of acupuncture sessions vary, but most practitioners do not think one session is sufficient. The initial evaluation may last up to 60 minutes. Subsequent visits typically last about a half an hour. A common treatment plan for a single complaint usually involves six to twelve treatments, planned out over a few months. Approximately five to twenty needles are used in a regular treatment. For the majority of cases, the needles will stay in place for 10 to 20 minutes while you are lying still.
In Australia, from 1 July 2012 Chinese medicine practitioners must be registered under the national registration and accreditation scheme with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia and meet the Board's Registration Standards, in order to practice in Australia.