Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is over 2,000 years old. Tribal sages and holy men who lived as recluses in the mountains of China as early as 3500 B.C. practised what was called the “Way of Long Life”, a procedure including a diet based on herbs and other plants, kung-fu exercises, and special breathing techniques that were thought to improve energy and life expectancy.
Nowadays, TCM represents a holistic system of health and healing, largely based on the philosophical principle according to which the human body is a small universe, consisting of a network of interconnected systems. The proper and harmonious functioning of the systems determines the individual’s health.
As compared with the Western Medicine, TCM deals not only with any physical, but also mental problems, condition or disease.
TCM practices include:
–acupuncture and moxibustion (a technique used to accelerate blood’s pressure and strengthen the life energy of the body, by using a cone of burning mugwort, which is positioned over an affected area on the body),
-dietary regulation, based on the weather conditions, the period of the year, the characteristics of the region, and the patient’s specific features (the main area of treatment in Chinese medicine; only after the changes in diet fail to solve the problem are acupuncture and herbal treatments being used)
-therapeutic exercise, combining preventive healthcare and therapy.
-herbal medicine, chosen according to every plant’s effect on the individual’s primordial force and the Five Elements.
-massage, recommended to clear the patient’s meridians, quicken the circulation of blood and primordial force, relax rigid joints and muscles, and strengthen the immune system.
TCM theory derives from different schools of thought: Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism, both philosophical and religious ideas. In Taoist philosophy (the Tao), or universal first principle (Tao), generated a duality of divergent principles that lie behind all the moulds of nature (yin and yang).
These principles are reciprocally dependent as well as polar opposing forces. These are the main concepts in TCM. Yin represents everything that is cold, humid, soft, slow, passive, heavy, and moving downward or inward; whereas yang represents heat, aridness, brightness, activity, speed, lightness, and upward or outward motion.
Nature needs both forces the same way human well-being needs it. Yin and yang cannot resist one without the other, their dynamic interaction being mirrored in the cycles of the seasons, the human life cycle, and other natural phenomena; that’s why yin and yang must be kept in harmonious balance within a person.
Additionally to yin and yang, there is a third force produced by Tao: primordial energy or qi. The interaction between yin, yang, and qi gave birth to the Five Elements (or Five Phases)-metal, earth, wood, water and fire.
Wood feeds Fire; Fire nourishes Earth; Earth provides for Metal; Metal nurtures Water; Water supports Wood. These units are all reflected in the structure of the human body. The Five Elements describe the interactions and relationships between human body, the five elements and natural phenomena:
METAL- Autumn – Lungs/ Large Intestine
WOOD- Spring – Liver/ Gall Bladder
WATER- Winter – Kidneys/ Urinary Bladder
FIRE- Early Summer – Heart and Pericardium/ Small Intestine and Triple Heater
EARTH- Late Summer – Spleen/ Stomach
TCM also theorizes the Six levels theory, regarding the infiltration of cold diseases:
Tai Yang or Greater Yang),
Yang Ming Bright Yang,
Shao Yang or Lesser Yang,
Tai Yin or Greater Yin,
Shao Yin or Lesser Yin,
Jue Yin or Terminal Yin)
and the Eight principles system of disease classification:
Yin or Yang,
Deficient or Excess,
Cold or Hot,
Internal or External.
Traditional Chinese Medicine efficiency
The question of TCM efficiency has been often issued. The scientific research has proven the value of acupuncture in adult treating symptoms such as postoperative and chemotherapy nausea and dental pain vomiting.
In other cases (such as addiction, headache, menstrual pains, tennis elbow, low back ache and asthma) acupuncture was demonstrated to be useful as an adjunct treatment or an acceptable alternative.
The most important benefits Chinese Medicine brings are:
-TCM treats irritable bowl disorders, such as colon inflammation, diarrhea;
-TCM successfully removes the neck pain due to degenerated disc, arthritis, sports injuries, tension, muscle strain, stress. Acupuncture therapy for shoulder pain is also efficient.
-TCM heals stress and insomnia successfully and in using natural remedies. It is also used in treating allergies: sneezing, nasal congestion, cough, sinus infection or pain, chronic sinusitis, running nose, sinusitis, itching eyes, eczema, sinus headache.
-TCM treatments are also efficient in treating heart failure: fatigue, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, confusion, wheezing, and persistent coughing.
-Traditional Chinese Medicine also treats very effectively infertility, with or without IVF.
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