Traditional Chinese Medicine is a 5,000-year-old medical system that withstood the test of time. Its origins are based on Confucian and Daoist philosophies, which see the relationship between humanity and the whole of the universe as inseparable. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a wholistic model of health and wellbeing, in accordance with this world-view.
Over thousands of years, Chinese Medicine developed an amazingly intricate system of observation, palpation techniques & questions regarding the presenting signs and symptoms. This enables the practitioner to come up with a very specific Chinese Medical diagnosis borne of its own paradigm. Once a clear diagnosis is attained, a treatment is devised and delivered, incorporating Physical Therapy, Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine.
The western world is becoming more aware and accepting of the knowledge and practices of Chinese Medicine and recognises the advantages of a wholistic approach. On the other hand, Chinese Medicine practitioners use the knowledge contributed by western medicine, and incorporate it in their practice.
In order to obtain registration, a Chinese Medicine practitioner needs to be well versed in a wide array of western bioscience: anatomy, physiology, pathology, toxicology, pharmacology, chemistry and neuroscience. Western medical diagnosis and established treatments, scan reports & blood tests, are all considered with serious regard in the diagnostic process & treatment. At the same time, Chinese Medicine remains true to its holistic origins, and offers a unified and personalised treatment of the individual as a whole, and not only of dis-ease.
Western metaphysicists are aware of the inter-connectedness of the universe and the forces within it. They recognise the link between consciousness, the body and the universe, and see them all as a continuum.
How Does It Work?
The focus of Traditional Chinese Medicine is to bring about a homeostatic balance in the body – a state in which the body becomes strong enough to repair itself. This is achieved by reinforcing deficiencies and resolving excesses. The aim might be to strengthen a particular organ that is unable to carry out its functions smoothly, or to re-establish inter- organ communication blocked by excessive phlegm, fluid or by an impediment to the circulation of Qi and Blood.
A deep understanding of organic relationships, the quality of the body’s Qi (Chi), Fluid, Blood and Essence govern the diagnostic process. A Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner takes a detailed note of the state of the tongue and palpates the pulse and the abdomen to further understand the presenting condition. Digestion, stools, sleep, emotions and physical states are investigated and cross- checked, to allow for an accurate overview that guides the final diagnosis and the ensuing treatment.
A Chinese Medicine treatment through herbal medicines and acupuncture aim to cool the body if it is hot, or warm it up if it is cold. “Cold” retards movement, while “Hot” quickens it. An excess in either condition is non-conducive to the body’s state of balance. Heat damages fluids, dries the body and damages blood, causing bleeding, eczema externally, or hemorrhage internally. Cold, on the other hand, causes accumulations by retarding the natural flow of fluids, causing oedema, or by stasis, leading to pain through the blockage of Qi and Blood.
Conditions in the body may be internally or externally generated. Environmental wind, cold, damp or heat will adversely affect the body, disturbing the regulation of heat and cold. We all know that prolonged exposure to extreme cold can cause hypothermia, which can be fatal, but are less aware that a smaller dose can lead to the common cold, cough or fever, worsen pain in arthritic joints, or instantly exacerbate the condition in an asthma sufferer.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is not based on magic, but on accumulated wisdom and thousands of years of trial and error. Texts have been written and revised throughout its history and, through the continuing process of investigation and modification, the discipline has evolved into a remarkable healing art. It is a medicine that treats the human body with the utmost respect of its condition, while considering its relationship with the very nature from which it was born.