Exploring Traditional Chinese Medicine with Maria Laffin

Maria Laffin is a highly skilled Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Registered Acupuncturist, and the founder of Acupuncture For Good. With extensive training from Eight Branches, one of Toronto’s top Traditional Chinese Medicine colleges, Maria is dedicated to providing a comprehensive and integrative approach to her treatments. With advanced training in scalp acupuncture for neurological and psychosomatic disorders, as well as cosmetic/facial acupuncture, Maria is well-equipped to address a wide range of health concerns.

Her passion for natural healing was inspired by her family’s teachings in Brazil. which she now combines with TCM modalities to create a holistic approach. Fluent in both English and Portuguese, her attentive listening and empathy help build a strong human connection with her patients, fostering overall well-being and trust. In her insightful video, Maria discusses the key differences between TCM and Western medicine, focusing on the methods of acupuncture, cupping, and herbal remedies.

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine and how does it differ from Western medicine?

Maria Laffin shares with us that Chinese medicine is a traditional system of medicine that has been practiced in China for thousands of years. It is based on the concept of Qi, or vital energy, which flows through the body along pathways called meridians. Chinese medicine aims to maintain the balance of Qi in the body, and when this balance is disrupted, it can result in illness or disease.

One of the key differences between Chinese medicine and Western medicine is the approach to diagnosis. In Chinese medicine, the focus is on identifying patterns of disharmony in the body rather than diagnosing a specific disease. Practitioners use a variety of methods, including pulse diagnosis and tongue examination, to identify these patterns and develop a treatment plan tailored to the individual patient.

Another important aspect of Chinese medicine is the use of natural remedies such as herbal medicines and acupuncture. Herbal medicines are typically prescribed in combination, with different herbs chosen for their specific therapeutic properties. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points along the meridians to restore the flow of Qi.

Chinese medicine also emphasizes the importance of lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and stress management in maintaining health and preventing disease. Practitioners may recommend dietary changes or specific exercises based on the patient’s individual needs.

What are some of the elements that Traditional Chinese Medicine looks at?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a holistic approach to healthcare that seeks to identify and treat imbalances in the body, mind, and spirit. Here are some of the elements that TCM would be looking at.

Qi: In TCM, the concept of Qi is central to the understanding of health and disease. Qi refers to the vital energy that flows through the body, and when it is balanced and flowing freely, a person is in good health. TCM practitioners look for blockages or imbalances in the flow of Qi, which can indicate areas of the body that need attention.

Yin and Yang: Yin and Yang are complementary and opposing forces that are believed to govern all aspects of the universe, including the human body. In TCM, good health is seen as a balance between Yin and Yang. Imbalances between the two can lead to various health problems.

Five elements: TCM categorizes the human body into five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water), which are thought to correspond to different organs, emotions, and senses. Practitioners may use this framework to identify imbalances and develop treatment plans.

Meridians: TCM posits that the body has a network of meridians, or energy pathways, through which Qi flows. There are 12 primary meridians, each corresponding to a different organ system in the body. TCM practitioners may use pulse diagnosis or tongue examination to identify imbalances in these systems

How does acupuncture work?

Maria describes acupuncture as the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body, known as acupuncture points. These points are chosen based on the individual’s constitution and the identified imbalances. As mentioned in the video, acupuncture needles can be placed on various parts of the body, including the hands, feet, abdomen, forehead, and head. By stimulating these points, acupuncture aims to promote balance and restore the body’s energy flow.

While acupuncture can affect nerve endings, its primary goal is to address imbalances in the body’s Qi.
Acupuncture is believed to trigger the release of endorphins and other natural painkillers, as well as improve circulation and immune function. It is commonly used to treat pain, stress, anxiety, and other health problems, and is often used in conjunction with other TCM therapies such as herbal medicine and dietary therapy.

What is cupping?

Maria shares her expertise on cupping, a technique that uses suction cups to create localized pressure on the skin. The cups are placed on specific areas of the body where there is pain or imbalance. When the cup is removed, blood flow to the area is increased, promoting healing. Maria mentions that cupping can be performed on various parts of the body, such as the back, arm, or leg, depending on the individual’s needs.

How do herbal remedies play a role in TCM?

Maria emphasizes the importance of herbal remedies in TCM, which involve the use of single herbs or herbal formulas to address imbalances in the body. Similar to the ingredients in a well-balanced meal, herbs work together to tonify, move, and balance the body. Maria explains that cooling herbs may be prescribed to alleviate excess heat, while tonifying herbs can address deficiencies.

Herbs are chosen for their specific therapeutic properties, and the combination is designed to restore balance to the body and promote optimal health. Commonly used herbs include ginseng, ginger, licorice root, and astragalus. Herbal remedies may be used alone or in conjunction with other TCM therapies such as acupuncture and dietary therapy.

In her video, Maria Laffin also mentions the health benefits of green tea, a popular herbal remedy. Green tea contains antioxidants that support overall health. However, TCM practitioners including Maria, use a wide range of herbs and formulas to treat specific imbalances, tailoring their recommendations to the individual’s needs.


In summary, Maria provides valuable insights into Traditional Chinese Medicine and its holistic approach to health. By focusing on acupuncture, cupping, and herbal remedies, TCM offers an alternative or complementary treatment option for those seeking a more natural approach to well-being. For more information or to consult with Maria Laffin, a TCM practitioner, visit here.


Disclaimer: The above video and content is for educational purposes only. The expert health advice offered in this video are that of the specialists. For more details, you can contact them directly or consult your health expert.