At The Heart of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) originated more than 5,000 years ago and has been in continuous use and development during this incredible span of time. Authentic traditional Chinese medicine was born out of a deep understanding of the universe and its intrinsic nature. All of the many forms of TCM treatment stem directly from this essential knowledge. The goal of all of TCM treatments is to restore harmony and balance and to strengthen and tonify the entire system.
Part of the intent of authentic Traditional Chinese medicine is to increase your awareness of your relationship to nature – the universe.
The philosophy of authentic TCM teaches that health is not merely the absence of pathology, but is described by a state of harmony within oneself and with nature. It is by acquiring this universal balance, that the essence of true health is attained. By applying the principles of authentic Traditional Chinese medicine to ones life, stress is reduced, productivity is increased, and harmony with oneself and others is increased.
A person’s health is understood to be directly related to the individual’s relationship with the rest of his/her life, environment, circumstances, and nature. Consequently, health and illness are not viewed as isolated matters. Everything is considered to be a part of an interdependent series of relationships.
In diagnosing a patient, TCM looks to who you are, when your are, where you are and how you are. Therefore, treatments are very individualistic and designed to heal the relationships. This is done by first re-balancing the vital energy (Qi) that flows throughout your body.
Authentic Traditional Chinese medicine at all times seeks to heal the root cause of the disease. The paradigm of healing utilized by authentic TCM is that by healing the root cause, the symptoms will dissipate. Consequently, what would be considered “the disease” from the point of view of western biomedicine, TCM understands as the symptom of a deeper root cause.
A common example of this is what we consider a simple headache and fairly universally treat with an analgesic such as aspirin. TCM recognizes that there are 720 different kinds of headaches and does not treat them all in the same manner because they do not stem from the same root cause. By keeping the system harmoniously balanced and strong afterwards, further illness is prevented.
A basic Traditional Chinese medicine principle is: “Prevention is the best cure.” It is a philosophy that affirms the well being of the individual within the greater web of all life.
At the very center of this philosophy is Qi. Everything in authentic Chinese culture – music, art, calligraphy, feng shui, medicine, science, dietetics, culinary theories, martial arts – flow from understanding Qi. Simply put, Qi is the dynamic energy of the Universe that courses through all things (including our bodies) and forms the basis for our health and vitality. All the theories of TCM are based on understanding Qi in varying states.
Qi can be thought of as the animating force that flows through us while we live and is present in all life activities – spiritual, emotional, mental and the physical aspects of life. A person’s health is influenced by the flow of Qi in the body. It is Qi that is at the heart of all authentic traditional Chinese medicine. As Dr. Nan Lu, often says: “When there is a clear harmonious flow of Qi throughout the body, disease cannot enter.”
To learn more about traditional Chinese medicine visit: www.tcmworld.org and www.breastcancer.com. Dr. Nan Lu is the Founder and Director of Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation, the publisher of the national newspaper Traditional Chinese Medicine World and the author of three books published by HarperCollins and available in bookstores, libraries and on the internet: A Woman’s Guide to Healing from Breast Cancer; A Natural Guide to Weight Loss That Lasts; and A Woman’s Guide to a Trouble-Free Menopause.
By Ellasara Kling