Wednesday, 12 October 2016

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine, also referred to as TCM, is its own complete system of medicine. It has its own forms of diagnosis and treatment, prognosis and therapies. TCM views the body as a dynamic system in energetic balance. Your life force, Qi (pronounced chee), flows regularly in a pattern through a system of meridians, or channels, to every part of the body.

If Qi remains flowing free your body remains in balance and harmony, as well as in good health. However, if there are blockages it can lead to an imbalance, thus disease.

The purpose of TCM is to restore the body’s balance and it works on an energetic level to affect the whole person: body, mind and spirit. It can be used in order to correct imbalances that have led to illness or pain, and it can correct imbalances before they have resulted in symptoms, thus preventing disease.

Additionally, TCM treatments will address imbalances by using a number of treatments, including herbal remedies, meditation, Chinese exercise, acupuncture and food therapy. It also combines Western therapies. 

TCM has been in use for over 3,000 years and is the longest continuous medical system that is practiced in the world.

The goal of TCM is to create a harmony within the whole person, encouraging the body, mind and spirit to heal itself. The philosophy states that there are two principals at odds with each other. Yin and yang are opposed to each other, and imbalances in the yin and yang reflect as illness in an individual.

TCM defines illness’ physiological components as such: Qi (the vital energy), Xue (blood), Jing (essence), Jin-Ye (fluids of the body), Shen (Spirit), and the organs.

Consider that in Western medicine that the kidney system manages the metabolism of fluid. In TCM the kidney system is also responsible for regeneration, growth, and reproduction. Bones, marrow, inner ear, lumbar and teeth all make up part of the kidney system. Individuals dealing with lower back pain, frequent urination, and fear could be associated with the kidney system.

TCM does not recognize bacteria, or viruses, as the trigger for disease or disorder, but instead recognizes influences causing disharmony within your Qi.

Additionally, there are 6 external climatic forces that can potentially invade the body, thus creating disharmony. If you are exposed to excessive amounts of cold, heat or wind when you are already weak you can develop an illness. Those external factors include cold, heat, wind, dampness, summer heat, and dryness.

The methods used by TCM to facilitate healing can also include heat therapies which use moxibustion. Moxibustion involves burning the herb mugwort over areas of the body in order to stimulate those areas in need. Additionally, there are a range of exercises including martial arts.


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