We know: All About Chinese Medicine
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete system of healing that dates back to 200 B.C. in written form. Korea, Japan, and Vietnam have all developed their own unique versions of traditional medicine based on practices originating in China.
What is the basic philosophy?
In the TCM view, the body is a delicate balance of two opposing and inseparable forces: yin and yang.
Yin represents the cold, slow, or passive principle, while yang represents the hot, excited, or active principle. Among the major assumptions in TCM are that health is achieved by maintaining the body in a "balanced state" and that disease is due to an internal imbalance of yin and yang.
This imbalance leads to blockage in the flow of qi (or vital energy) and of blood along pathways known as meridians.
What are the typical strategies used in Traditional Chinese Medicine?
TCM practitioners typically use herbs, acupuncture, and massage to help unblock qi and blood in patients in an attempt to bring the body back into harmony and wellness.
What are the typical treatments used in TCM?
Treatments in TCM are typically tailored to the subtle patterns of disharmony in each patient and are based on an individualized diagnosis. The diagnostic tools differ from those of conventional medicine.
There are three main therapeutic modalities:
- Acupuncture and moxibustion (moxibustion is the application of heat from the burning of the herb moxa at the acupuncture point)
- Chinese Materia Medica (the catalogue of natural products used in TCM)
- Massage and manipulation
Although TCM proposes that natural products catalogued in Chinese Materia Medica or acupuncture can be used alone to treat virtually any illness, quite often they are used together and sometimes in combination with other modalities (e.g., massage, moxibustion, diet changes, or exercise).