Basic Principles of Chinese Medicine

Introduction

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a profound and highly sophisticated medical system that dates back 3,000 years. It is a complete healthcare system, comprising , , massage, diet, exercise and lifestyle advice. It still forms a major part of healthcare provision in China today, and is provided in state hospitals alongside Western Medicine. Its effectiveness is now acknowledged by the World Health Organization.

Basic principles

The aim of Chinese Medicine is to treat the underlying disharmony that lies at the root of disease, and improve wellbeing, rather than simply alleviating the symptoms.

It derives its principles from the observation of nature and the cycle of the seasons and is based on the Taoist concepts of Yin and Yang, two opposing qualities that are in a constant state of dynamic balance.

Yin and Yang are interdependent. Their very opposition constitutes the motive force of all the birth, development and decay in nature. So whilst summer is Yang, winter is Yin, and one transforms into the other in an endless cycle.

According to Chinese medical theory, the body’s vital energy, or Qi, belongs to Yang, whilst the Blood and Body Fluids belong to Yin. Each organ has a Yin and a Yang aspect. Disease may occur when the balance of Yin and Yang becomes undermined through a Deficiency or Excess of either quality.

The balance of energies in the body can be disturbed by a number of factors. These include emotional states such as anxiety, stress, anger, fear or grief, poor nutrition, weather conditions, hereditary factors, infections, poisons or trauma.

Pathology is simply normal physiology gone awry. Acupuncture or Chinese Herbal Medicine, or, very often, a combination of the two, are used to regain optimum vitality by harmonizing Yin and Yang and enabling the transformation that is needed to take place to bring the body back to its innate balance.

» Diagnosis