Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an ancient medical approach based on a concept of balanced qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, that flows through the body.
Qi is believed to regulate a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical balance and to be influenced by the opposing forces of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy). Disease then, is the result of the flow of qi being disrupted, and yin and yang becoming imbalanced. TCM incorporates herbal and nutritional therapy, restorative physical exercises, meditation, acupuncture, and remedial massage.
Chinese medicine views the body as a small part of the universe, and subject to universal laws and principles of harmony and balance. Chinese medicine does not draw a sharp line, as Western medicine does, between mind and body. The Chinese system believes that emotions and mental states are every bit as influential on disease as purely physical mechanisms, and considers factors like work, environment, lifestyle and relationships as fundamental to the overall picture of a patient’s health.
In Chinese medicine, disease as seen as imbalances in the organ system or qi meridians, and the goal of any remedy or treatment is to assist the body in reestablishing its innate harmony. Disease can be caused by internal factors like emotions, external factors like the environment and weather, and other factors like injuries, trauma, diet, and germs. However, infection is seen not as primarily a problem with germs and viruses, but as a weakness in the energy of the body which is allowing a sickness to occur. In Chinese medicine, no two illnesses are ever the same, as each body has its own characteristics of symptoms and balance. Acupuncture is used to open or adjust the flow of chi throughout the organ system, which will strengthen the body and prompt it to heal itself.