Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM),is a label that covers a broad range of traditional medicine practices spread throughout Asia,including various forms of herbal medicine,acupuncture,massage therapy,and dietary therapy.The common thread among these diverse practices is a system for balancing the various functions of the body,based in Daoist principles of yinyang and other metaphysical belief systems,that originated during the Warring States Period in regions that are now part of China.These practices are a common part of medical care throughout East Asia,accounting for roughly 75% of worldwide use,but are considered alternative medicine in the western world.
Chinese herbal medicine is one of the great herbal systems of the world, with an unbroken tradition going back to the 3rd century BC. Yet throughout its history it has continually developed in response to changing clinical conditions, and has been sustained by research into every aspect of its use. This process continues today with the development of modern medical diagnostic techniques and knowledge.
The Yellow Emperor's Internal Classic
The Yellow Emperor's Internal Classic The Yellow Emperor's Internal Classic, or Internal Classic for short, whose author is unknown, is the earliest medical classic in China.
It includes two parts: Plain Question and Acupuncture Classic, each of which comprises 9 volumes. The 18 volumes originally consist of 162 articles, even though some of the chapters have been lost with the lapse of time. In a question-and-answer format, Plain Question recounts the discussion between the Yellow Emperor and his royal physician Qi Bo. It mainly sets forth the basic theories of physiology and pathology of the human body. Acupuncture Classic dwells upon acupuncture and moxibustion, main and collateral channels as well as hygiene and health care.
Internal Classic lays the foundation for the theoretical systems of traditional Chinese medicine, which has long guided the clinical practice of Chinese medicine and played an important role in China’s medical history. It has great significance both inside and outside China. Parts of the book have been translated into Japanese, English, German and French. Many treatises on Internal Classic have been published in Japan.
Chinese medicine can be utilized to treat allergies, arthritis pain, weight control, quitting smoking, back injury pain, musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and stress. Other illnesses and conditions that can be helped with Chinese medicine are digestive problems, menstrual problems, and urinary problems.
Chinese doctors greatly emphasis on lifestyle management in order to prevent disease before it occurs. Chinese medicine recognizes that health is more than just the absence of disease and it has a unique capacity to maintain and enhance our capacity for well being and happiness.
Acupuncture Acupuncture is practiced medical treatments that are over 5,000 years old. Very basically, acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles, (sometimes in conjunction with electrical stimulus), on the body's surface, in order to influence physiological functioning of the body.
Acupuncture can also be used in conjunction with heat produced by burning specific herbs, this is called Moxibustion. In addition, a non-invasive method of massage therapy, called Acupressure, can also be effective.
Acupuncturists can use as many as nine types of Acupuncture needles, though only six are commonly used today. These needles vary in length, width of shaft, and shape of head. Today, most needles are disposible. They are used once and disgarded in accordance with medical biohazard regulations and guidlines. There are a few different precise methods by which Acupuncturists insert needles. Points can be needled anywhere in the range of 15 degrees to 90 degrees relative to the skin surface, depending on the treatment called for. In most cases, a sensation, felt by the patient, is desired.
Unique TCM Characters
Characters of Chinese MedicineDifferent ways of organizing the information
Firstly of all, traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine use different ways of organizing the information based on the same symptoms, same signs and same patient.
Let me take an example. Diagnosing the same patient with a lump in her breast, a Western doctor will see a cyst, lesion, fibroid or cancer whereas a Chinese medical doctor will see a stagnation of Qi, Blood, or Phlegm. The Western doctor will seek to prove the diagnosis with a biopsy of the hardened tissue. The practitioner of Chinese medicine will feel the unique quality of the pulse at the radial artery which may feel "wiry" or kind of hard, like a guitar string bouncing up and down beneath your fingers (as opposed to other pulses that can feel softer and more flowing), observe the color and shape of the tongue looking for purple in particular, with possibly a thick yellow coating. Also used for diagnostic purposes will be seemingly unrelated symptoms such as a sensation of constriction in the chest, abdominal bloating, heightened emotional sensitivity and a tendency to be easily angered and frequent headaches at the top or the sides of the head. This will allow the doctor of Chinese medicine to sum up with a diagnosis of "Qi, Blood or Phlegm stagnation."