What is TCVM?

In 5 Element, Alternative medicine, Holistic medicine, TCVM by drjosie11119 Comments

TCVM stands for “Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine”

So what is “Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine” and how does it differ from Veterinary Medicine as we know it? TCVM is the veterinary version of Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM for short. Long, long ago in ancient China a system of healing developed based upon the philosophical school known as Taoism. They developed a form of treatment using needles inserted into specific points on the body and mixtures of herbs to treat disease and imbalances.

Through thousands of years TCM evolved and developed into a complete system of not only medicine but nutrition, exercise and lifestyle. It has been the main method of treatment in the ancient East for over 3,500 years. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine was written around 2600 BC and is considered one of the oldest medical textbooks with its concepts still in use today.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is made up of 8 branches:

  • Meditation,
  • Movement/Exercise (Qigong, Tai Chi)
  • Nutrition/food therapy
  • Massage/Bodywork (Tui Na).
  • Cosmology, BaGua, I-Ching.
  • Feng Shui and Astrology.
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Acupuncture.

We are most familiar with the practice of acupuncture, yet that remains a small portion of the whole system. Examining this list, one realizes that the ancient Chinese addressed the physical body, emotional body, mental body, spiritual body and the interaction with the outer environment (feng shui, nutrition). It was all perceived as a giant whole, called the Tao, each part interdependent on every other aspect.

When I began exploring alternative forms of medicine to our conventional western medicine, I chose to specialize in TCVM because it was such a complete system that addressed all aspects of health in a holistic manner. It included nutrition and dietary therapy as well as multiple treatment modalities: plant medicine, energy medicine, stone medicine, and hands-on healing.

TCM provides an amazing framework and philosophical foundation from which to understand wellness, disease, cycles of energy and how to facilitate bringing the body back into balance internally and with the external environment. Ayurveda is probably the only other system that can say the same.

TCVM is based off of an understanding of Chi, or life force energy. Everything is made up of, and infused with Chi. Chi is like the binding force underlying all of reality. It is made up Yin and Yang, the duality of polar opposites. Yin represents dark, cool, quiet, feminine characteristics. Yang represents light, hot, active, masculine characteristics. Yin and Yang exist on a spectrum, interdependent upon one another, melding and moving in a dance of constant change and interaction.

The Taoists described reality as being made up of 5 Elements, or processes that interacted in cycles, creating and supporting each other and at the same time, controlling and setting limits. The theory of the 5 Elements creates a framework of classification that an be applied to many different facets of reality to help make sense of things.

For example, the 5 Elements describe the cycle of the seasons, spring through winter, and the cycles of a lifetime, birth through death. They can be used to understand the stages of disease, the energetic interactions of the organ systems and what acupuncture points may be used to tonify or drain energy in specific parts of the body. They can be applied to choosing herbal formulas, food items, essential oils, and other remedies.

So when I examine an animal patient from a TCVM perspective I am looking at its personality, its interactions with its environment, temperature, smells, the texture and tone of its body, its pulse, the shape, color and coating of the tongue. I am looking at hundreds of little nuances that my own senses may pick up to indicate any imbalances that need to be addressed.

By utilizing nutrition, exercise, hands-on massage and energy healing, placing acupuncture needles in specific points to fine tune, and/or prescribing an herbal formula, any imbalances can be addressed so that the body can regain a state of constantly changing state of balance.

The TCVM practitioner becomes a partner with both the patient and the caretaker of the patient on a journey of well-being, each one playing the role of both healer and patient. Every one of my patients over the years has taught me something and in many cases healed a part of me. I have also witnessed clients find new solutions to their own health issues after witnessing their animals health return via TCVM.

So the next time you see the letters TCVM, you can recognize it as more than just acupuncture. It is a way of perceiving the world and attempting to maintain balance within and without as we move through the world. It is a way of living.

Josie Beug, DVM, CVA

Follow, Like and Share!:


  1. Many blessings for all the knowledge that you share, so timely, generously and ubiquitously. I am a 2nd level reiki practitioner, along with 2 other less known healing modalities, a certified feng shui practitioner, familiar with chinese ayurvedic principles in general, (tho studied in my youth) and tai chi. I have just embarked on a study of essential oils. I use these for family, friends and my golden retriever, Lexi, who is on your patient waiting list. I am so grateful to have found you after many years of searching for holistic vets nearby. May your energy and sharing continue to radiate throughout the universe! Thank you!

    1. Author

      Hi Marianne, I just checked my messages from my website – getting caught up. I m so sorry I did not see it until now. Please contact me if you still need help with your dog. I am doing ZOOM consults and some “garden acupuncture” appointents.

      Thank you, Dr Josie

  2. Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum
    it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.

    I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything.
    Do you have any points for beginner blog writers?
    I’d certainly appreciate it.

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate
    your efforts and I will be waiting for your next write ups thanks once again.

  4. Hi! I simply would like to offer you a huge thumbs up for your great info you have right here on this post.
    I’ll be returning to your web site for more soon.

  5. Hi there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your
    posts! Carry on the excellent work!

  6. You’re so cool! I don’t think I have read something like that before.

    So good to find someone with original thoughts on this subject.

    Really.. thank you for starting this up. This
    site is something that is required on the web, someone
    with a bit of originality!

  7. May I just say what a comfort to find someone that really
    understands what they’re discussing online. You certainly know
    how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More people must check this out and understand this side of your story.
    I was surprised you are not more popular because you certainly have
    the gift.

  8. These are in fact impressive ideas in on the topic of blogging.
    You have touched some nice things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  9. It didn’t bother know what to think with it. Otherwise, the reader will
    get bored (and you’ll lose a potential sale!).

    Submit your site content to a perfect best web directories in the.

  10. My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was totally right.
    This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  11. fantastic publish, very informative. I ponder why the opposite specialists of this
    sector don’t notice this. You should proceed your writing.

    I’m confident, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  12. Simply wish to say your article is as surprising.
    The clarity on your put up is just cool and i could suppose you’re
    an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let
    me to clutch your feed to keep up to date with impending post.
    Thank you one million and please keep up the rewarding work.

    Also visit my web-site zebre01

  13. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this
    excellent blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your
    RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to
    fresh updates and will talk about this blog with
    my Facebook group. Chat soon!

Leave a Comment