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Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine


China, known as a long history and large population, is a nation with a venerable civilization. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been playing an important and effective role in curing illness, promoting and maintaining health of Chinese for the last three thousand years. Traditional Chinese medicine is a complete medical system that has diagnosed, treated, and prevented illness. While it can remedy ailments and alter states of mind, Chinese medicine can also enhance recuperative power, immunity, and the capacity for pleasure, work, and creativity. Two classic medical texts, the Huang Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor Classic of Internal Medicine, compiled from 100 B.C. to 100 A.D.) and the Nan Jing (written circa 100 to 200 A.D.) were important early documents that presented the core concepts of TCM, and they have informed generations of scholars and practitioners ever since.


It wasn't until 1971, however, that Western world really became aware of TCM and of acupuncture in particular. This came about because James Reston, a New York Times reporter became stricken with appendicitis while doing a story on a ping-pong tournament in Beijing, and was treated for post-surgical pain with acupuncture. In a front-page Times Story he wrote, "I've seen the past, and it works!" This exposure came at a time when many Americans were looking for a more holistic, naturalistic http://www.wfwcenter.com/images/stock_web/Services-Acupuncture.jpghttp://ein-hod.info/alternative/tina/acupuncture_clip_image001.jpgapproach to health care, and caused quite a stir among the Western medical community. Since then, acupuncture has become a widely accepted form of treatment in the US and UK, and other aspects of TCM are gaining supporters as well.


The Basic Principles of TCM


The Chinese approach to understanding the human body is unique. The principle and practices of TCM is based on the Daoist understanding of a universe where everything is interdependent and mutually interactive. Within this universe our mind, body and spirit are merely different manifestations of the same life force and consequently cannot be considered separately. The Chinese believe that health is achieved, and disease prevented, by maintaining the body in a 'balanced state'. This concept was applied to both individuals and society at large. In individual terms the ancient Chinese physicians preached moderation in all things, such as alcoholic intake and gastronomic excess. They also stated that daily activities should include mental as well as physical tasks. The wealthier Chinese visited their doctor when they were well, paying a retainer to the doctor to keep them healthy. If they became ill the doctor lost his fee.

Such a highly sophisticated and personal system of health care is impracticable within the current limitations of Western society, but the concept behind such ideas represents a radically different approach to health and disease.



Practitioners of Chinese medicine define their patientís illness in terms of that naturally emerge from the Daoist philosophical principle. mod_ndlThe diagnosis will place the signs and symptoms into an interdependent tapestry where physical symptoms and emotional reactions are set alongside social and environmental factors in order to understand how the energy dynamics of the individual lead to health and disharmony.



As TCM evolved over the centuries, it came to include treatment of disease using acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary principles, physical manipulation of the body tissues, therapeutic exercise and movement (Tai Chi), and the mind-body practice of Qi Gong.



Most of people in the West are very difficult to understand their health and sickness in terms of Chinese medicine. Therefore it is very important to understand what is Chinese medicine all about. In order to explore this different frame of reference, the following concepts will be described.


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