What is Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a rich medical system that has existed in some form for more than 3,000 years. The earliest found writings – on pieces of tortoise shells and bone, date back to the Shang Dynasty (15th to 11th centuries BC). Foundational Chinese medicine texts date back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD).
These ancient writings describe a medicine that focused on the circular movement of qi (pronounced “chee”, energy, force) and xue (pronounced “shui”, blood). Ill health is understood as stagnation, deficiency or the improper movement of qi or xue, and may result in an imbalance of yin and yang.
These disharmonies were understood in terms of concepts that are very different from the conceptual basis of Occidental medicine, which focuses on ideas about disease that center on a linear sequence of adverse events leading to a frank state of pathology that was not only observable but also tangible. Over several millennia, Traditional Chinese medicine has evolved into a sophisticated medical system.
How does it work?
Traditional Chinese medicine explains that health is the result of a harmonious balance of the complementary extremes of “yin” and “yang” of the life force known as “qi,” pronounced “chi.”
Disease is said to be the consequence of an imbalance of the forces. Qi is said to flow through meridians, or pathways, in the human body. These meridians and energy flows are accessible through 350 acupuncture points in the body.
Treatment through Acupuncture is done by inserting extremely thin needles into these points with appropriate combinations which are said to bring the energy flow back into proper balance and help body to recover its self-healing process.
Chinese Herbal medicines are mainly plant-based herbs. Different herbs have different properties and can balance particular parts of the body. Prescribing a particular herb or concoction of herbs means the practitioner’s diagnosis has to take into account the state of the patient’s Yin and Yang, and the elements that are governing the affected organs.