The Traditional Chinese framework for medicine is a comprehensive one, which explains patterns of symptoms people can suffer. Traditional medicine helps one understand what is wrong (illness), the real nature of sickness. TCM is rooted in home cures and remedies to eliminate the cause and alleviate stresses related to these causes (symptoms). Your diet, exercise & lifestyle habits are all key factors in diagnosis, according to TCM, and adopting holistic approaches to assist the healing process.
The basic concepts of TCM are Yin-Tang, Qi (pronounced Chi), Five Elements, Eight Conditions & Twelve Organs (Meridians). TCM provides a simple basis to assist self-diagnosis (once you understand your pain associations & its causes, you can work with your practitioner to make healing safer versus an allopathic approach (prescription drugs and side effects).
TCM & Holistic principles utilize herbs based on (1) how they can help & (2) properties and the useful formulas synergized from blended properties. Whole health is so much more than an absence of disease. Optimal health encompasses a sense of joy and fulfillment; a true appreciation for life.
TCM Theory & Meaning
Yin-Yang Theory – an Ancient Chinese theory which is used to explain forces at work in Nature. It can be applied to all aspects & things, including the body. Based on pairs of opposing forces with graduation between, Yin-Yang is relative; a thing is only affective in comparison to something else.
Qi — Bio-energy or vital life force; very potential within all living things, from plants to people. Its strength determines our vitality and is the catalyst for our physiological process. Qi moves blood, which nourishes the organs in order to produce Qi. Each individual person has different types of Qi. Qi nourishment and preservation are key to optimal health.
Jing (Essence) The Kidneys, Blood & Three Treasures — Inherited Qi (Jing) or reproductive energy; our Kidneys (an organ we can all agree we are born with), is the foundation. Body fluids (Jin Ye) like blood; moisten and nourish the body and organs. *Any imbalance is associated with dampness and phlegm. Shen (mind/soul) resides in the Heart organ and works with Qi to moisten, nourish and cool the body. Qi, Jing, and Shen – the Three Treasures, maintains our health.
Five Elements — Fire, Wood, Water, Metal and Earth; is another TCM theory used to describe natural energies, to categorize environmental factors and to describe physiological functions. Color, flavor, direction, etc can be matched to body types, seasonal cycles and personalities; which connect in a very formalized (cause/effect) way, reflecting its origin.
Eight Conditions — Yin-Yang Concept; are four pairs of opposites in TCM. Yin-Yang, Hot (heat disease) – Cold (cold symptoms), Full (excess) – Empty (depleted) and Interior (internal cause) – Exterior (external cause). *Disease can have several variations of these.
Six Evils – TCM contributes disease to the Six Evils; Wind, Cold, Fire, Summer, Heat, Dryness & Dampness. These internal disharmonies between organs are associated with emotions, called an imbalance of (Organ) Qi. Emotions are very serious causes of disease. Dampness is also another major cause. An ignored fluid imbalance which becomes thick and stagnant, combined with heat that is lurking in the body, produces inflammation.