What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine (中医) is a holistic medical system that has been used to diagnosis, treat and prevent disease for more than 2,500 years. It has its own unique medical theories, based on the notion of harmony and balance, and employing the ideas of moderation and prevention. The practice of TCM includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, moxibustion, dietary therapy, massage (Tui Na 推拿), and exercise (Qi Gong 气功).
The foundation of TCM principles are based upon the concept of Yin and Yang, the notion of five elements (metal 金, wood 木, water 水, fire 火, and earth 土), Meridians (Jing Luo 经络) and the concept of life-force or vital energy, Qi (气, pronounced as “Chee”).
Chinese Medicine: A Natural Healing System
The meridians are believed to be channels running from the inside of the body to the limbs and joints, transporting qi and blood. Fourteen major energy channels course through the human body including the head, arms, legs, feet, torso, and internal organs. Qi is a subtle energy circulating via the meridians to all parts of the body, even the remote cells. Qi is the vital force, the presence of which separates the living from the dead. Its balanced unimpeded flow is critical to sound health. Any misdirection, blockage, or other derangement of the amount, flow, or balance of Qi may result in pain, dysfunction, and ill health, and need a TCM treatment.
What Is Acupuncture Treatment?
The main objective of TCM treatment is to bring the flow of Qi into harmony. With acupuncture needles, or other means, the acupuncturist stimulates certain points (acupoints穴位) along the course of the meridians. These acupoints are mapped and identified in the meridians where Qi can be accessed and stimulated where there is an aberration of flow by the TCM practitioner. Such stimulation helps restore the normal balance and flow of Qi so organs and bodily systems can work together as intended. This sets the stage for the body to repair itself and maintain its own health.
What Is Herbal Medicine?
Chinese herbal medicine focuses on restoring a balance of energy, body, and spirit to maintain health rather than treating a particular disease or medical condition. Practitioners attempt to prevent and treat imbalances with complex combinations of herbs, minerals, and plant extracts. A typical herbal formula consists of two to 20 herbs. While stimulating the human body’s natural healing process, the individualized formula treats a wide variety of symptoms such as hormone disturbances, infections, breathing disorders, and a vast number of other ailments and diseases.
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