What exactly is Chinese Medicine? And no, it’s not just sticking something sharp in different areas of the body. But 4-5 thousands of years ago it was a system with multiple tools to help a person heal.
TCM is a system of medicine that aims to prevent or heal diseases by restoring and maintaining the balance of the YinYang, it is at least 23 centuries old. In essence, traditional Chinese practitioner seeks to restore and maintain the dynamic balance between complementing forces, the Yin which is the passive and the Yang which is active, these two forces pervade in the human body and kept the human body healthy especially when the harmony exists these two forces; on the other hand, illness will become the results if the equilibrium of yin and yang become broken.
One of the world’s oldest medical systems came from China. Dated back at least 2,200 years was Acupuncture and Chinese herbal remedies, although Huangdi neijing (The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic) known to be the earliest written record of Chinese medicine from the 3rd century BCE.
In 1578 Li Shizhen published his highly influential materia medica Bencao gangmu (Compendium of Materia Medica), which lists some 11,000 formal prescriptions for specific ailments and lists 1,892 drugs.
What tools are used in Tradition Chinese Medicine (TCM)? A TCM practitioner primary tool are the senses. Senses such as touch, smell, hearing, voice vibration, and pulse diagnosis were their X-rays and MRI’s to detect the source of which meridians are affected by an unbalanced health condition, and which organ it is related to. Observing the patient, asking questions, feeling their pulse, looking at their tongue, did they have peculiar odors, were they pale or red, or blue, or black or yellow, or green (and no not envy). From observing nature and the environment, they created terminology to describe what they would find with their 4,000 year old cat scan.
A traditional Chinese herb pharmacy is like a small natural museum of histories. There will be a hundreds of glass cases, cabinet drawers, and jars that holds an enormous variety of Chinese Herbarl Medicine.
To restore harmony, a TCM Practitioner may use a large array of traditional remedies. The patient may be treated with cupping (in which hot glass cups will be placed on the patient to draw blood to the skin), acupressure or acupuncture, or moxibustion (moxa treatment). A TCM Healer may prescribe a brew prepared with one or a combination of an enormous variety of medicinal plants in the Chinese pharmaceutical armamentarium.
Understanding of the body’s qi (life force; literally, “vital breath”), that flows through invisible meridians (channels) of the body is an essential aspect in TCM. It connects the tissues, organs, veins, nerves, cells, atoms, and consciousness of a human body. In general, there are 12 major meridians, each of these meridians connects to one of the 12 major organs in TCM theory.
In acupuncture the thin needles are inserted into specific meridians points. The needles then stimulate the meridians and readjust the flow of the Qi to balance the yin and yang in the human body. To stimulate the acupuncture points, massage or acupressure can also be used in place of needles. Moxibustion sometimes accompanied acupuncture, the burning of small cones of an herb (Artemisia moxa typically) at acupuncture points
Both Western medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have developed in a long time and are both supported by the World Health Organization (WHO). However during the last decades, Chinese government decided to focused on TCM.
What are the difference between the two in terms of?
Western medicine evidenced were based on scientific technology, human anatomy and chemistry, whereas Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on experimental technology, techniques that originated from the Yin and the Yang.
In Western Medicine, diseases and viruses are believed to be caused by bacterias or genetic disorder, and using drugs or antibiotics will resolve the patients problem.
In TCM, diseases and viruses are believed to be caused by the lack of balance between the Yin and Yang, and using chinese herbal medicines and therapy will cure patients. This principle of medicine is called “Pao Zhi”
In Western Medicine, medical practice is to propose a diagnosis, the doctors will examines the body using modern scientific instruments (blood or urine test, X-ray, ultrasound..).
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, doctors makes diagnosis using “Wang, Wen, Wen, Qie” means looking, listening and smelling, asking and touching. Patients are also diagnose based on symptoms related to the imbalance of Yin and Yang by analyzing the patient’s pulse, posture and feelings.