Basics of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Based on the notion of harmony and balance, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete and very vital holistic system of health and healing that developed in China about 3,000 years ago. It's based on the idea that laws of nature can be used to understand the inner workings of the body. Your health, like the universe at large, is subject to constant battling between opposing yet complementary forces such as heat and cold, joy and sorrows, which manifest themselves in your body as too much or too little activity in particular organs. An imbalance between any of these forces can cause a blockage in the flow of your Qi (Chi) or vital energy traveling through your body along invisible pathways known as meridians. TCM practitioners typically use acupuncture and herbs to help unblock your Qi and bring your body back into harmony and wellness.
As a part of a continuing system that has been in use for thousands of years, TCM is still employed to treat over one-quarter of the world's population. In TCM, both philosophically and medically, moderation in all things is advocated, as is living in harmony with nature and striving for balance in all things. Prevention is also a key goal of Chinese medicine, and much emphasis is placed on educating the patient to live responsibly.
The Chinese physicians believe in treating every patient differently, based on the notion that one does not treat the disease or condition but rather the individual patient. Thus two people with the same complaint may be treated entirely differently, if their constitutions and life situations are dissimilar. The methods employed by traditional Chinese medicine are mostly natural and noninvasive. TCM believes in "curing the root" of a disease and not merely in treating its symptoms. Meanwhile, it offers a more humane, patient-oriented approach that encourages a high degree of practitioner-patient interaction and is not overly dependent on technology.
Philosophical principles of TCM
Among fundamental philosophical principles of TCM, the concept of Yin and Yang describes the interdependent relationship of opposing but complementary forces believed to be necessary for a healthy life. Basically, the goal is to maintain a balance of Yin and Yang in all things. The notion of Five Elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water), or Five-Phase theory, is also grounded in the notion of harmony and balance. TCM also asserts that the concept of Qi (Chi) is an invisible energy force that flows freely in a healthy person, but is weakened or blocked when a person is ill. Specifically, the illness is a result of the blockage, rather than the blockage being the result of the illness.
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Chinese Medicated Diet
The Chinese also have a traditional belief in the medicinal value of food, as they believe that food and medicine share the same origin. The Chinese medicated diet is not just a simple combination of food and Chinese drugs, but rather a special highly finished diet made from Chinese drugs, food, and condiments under the theoretical guidance of diet preparation based on traditional Chinese medicine's differentiation of symptoms and signs. Chinese medicated diet has not only the efficiency of medicine, but also the delicacy of food, and can be used to prevent and cure diseases, build up one's health, and prolong one's life.
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