T.C.M. for Body Wellness
Traditional Chinese Medicine (T.C.M.) is the oldest healing system on the planet; it has been in continuous practice for thousands of years. It dates as far back as the Yin Dynasty between 1400 and 1100 BC. The earliest Chinese medical book, "Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine is based on Yin and Yang principle. In T.C.M. the body is seen as a whole and everything is believed to be interconnected. When one organ is not functioning normally, it produces an imbalance in the body, thus creating a domino effect on the rest of the body. These ancient traditions include herbal medicine, acupuncture, auricular therapy (ear massage), tui na (massage), Qigong (exercise) and nutritional therapy.
Yin and Yang
Yin and Yang philosophy inspires T.C.M. practices and beliefs. The theories of Yin and Yang were the creation of ancient Chinese observing the cycles and changes in nature. Yin (black or moon) and Yang (white or sun) represent two opposite principles in nature.
All natural things have a Yin and Yang aspect of opposing energies. Yin represents the feminine or negative character, and Yang represents the masculine or positive nature. Each contains some of the other, but Yin tends to be more nurturing, passive, introverted, calm, intuitive and soft. Yang tends to be more active, outgoing, focused, aggressive, logical and impatient. Yin and Yang are always in pairs: moon and sun, female and male, dark and bright, hot and cold, moist and dry, slow and fast, indecisive and decisive, emotional and rational.
In T.C.M., health is a harmoniously functioning body in which sleeping patterns, digestion and breathing are all connected, whereas illness or disease is caused by disharmony in the body. In order to diagnose a patient, a Chinese medical practitioner gets information through inquiry and observation. There are four basic categories of diagnostic observation used in the practice: sight, sound and smell, questions, and touch. These four areas of investigation are usually sufficient for traditional practitioners to accurately assess the imbalances found in the body. An important concept in the diagnostic system of Chinese medicine is that the indicators should always be taken holistically, meaning that everything relates to the well being and state of the person.
Trend Towards Balance
Optimum health should result from living as harmoniously as possible, trending towards balance. If there is no change (stagnation) or too much change (catastrophism) balance is increasingly lost, and illness can occur. Prevention is a key goal of Chinese medicine. It is the patient's responsibility to live responsibly, and practitioners are adviser that treat the individual patient rather than the illness. Two people with the same complaint might be treated completely differently, depending upon their constitutions or lifestyles.
The energy or life force, Chi or Qi, is the foundation for T.C.M.. The basic "building block" of every natural thing in the universe, including our bodies, is energy, which flows in channels known as meridians. There are 12 of these energy pathways in the body. Yin meridians flow upward from the Earth, and feed the health of the pericardium, liver, heart, spleen, lung and kidneys. Yang meridians flow downward from the heavens and support the gall bladder, stomach, and small and large intestines. We also have eight extraordinary meridians which run deep within our bodies. Although they have no direct connection to the organ systems, they supply the Yin and Yang meridians with qi and blood, supporting our DNA. There are 365 tsubo points which are located along the meridian systems, and these points are affected when a constriction or stagnation occurs. Tsubo points can be stimulated or sedated to ensure proper energy flow along affected meridian.
The body is an integrated whole, with an interrelated system that is powered by qi, our life force or energy. It is also connected to the world around us. Our health issues are affected by the season, geographical location, and time of day as well as our age, gender and genetics. T.C.M. helps recharge our body's own natural self-healing mechanism, and teaches us how keep up a running dialogue with our bodies and learn recognize signs and symptoms. The real aim of Chinese healing is to encourage the prevention of disease and keep the body harmonious and balanced in the pursuit of perfect health.