Medical practitioners from all cultures teach us that we must treat ourselves as well to stay healthy. Those who use ancient or traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) believe this.
As its name suggests, ancient Chinese medicine has timeless traditions. People practice it in various ways, and we can learn much from it.
The history and philosophy of TCM
Traditional Chinese medicine is a set of medical practices that its practitioners developed over 2500 years. They include acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage (tui na), and exercise (qigong). Used primarily by the Chinese, it has become increasingly influenced by Western medicine and is rapidly gaining popularity all over the world.
Practitioners of ancient Chinese medicine believe that the body’s vital energy, known as Qi, flows throughout the body, via channels known as meridians. These meridians have connections to the organs. Any breakage in this flow causes disharmony in the interaction of these entities, and therefore disease.
Popular as it is, it remains poorly researched. There are concerns about poaching endangered animals for their parts. Detractors criticize it, describing it as ‘ filled with pseudoscience‘ and that that there is no logic behind it.
Ancient Chinese medicine draws its basis from books like Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon, and the cosmology of Yin and Yang. A practitioner traces possible disharmony by measuring the pulse, inspecting the tongue, and other parts of the body.
More about the philosophy of TCM
1. Yin and yang
The first concept behind TCM is Yin and Yang. The concept of Yin and Yang apply to different parts of the body and their functions. The upper back of the body has connections with yang, while the lower body has a yin character.
2. Qi (Energy)
Also, TCM distinguishes different types of Qi. There is Qi for actuation of the circulation of body fluids, warming the body, and for defense. Qi Osho books for containment of body fluids. It may surprise you to know that food and drink transform into Qi.
3. Xue (Blood)
As you know, blood nourishes the body. It sustains consciousness and sleep. Chinese medical practitioners examine patients for signs of a lack of blood. These are a pale complexion, flowery vision, palpitations, or dizziness.
4. Jin Ye (Body Fluids)
Body fluids, or Jin Ye, have a yin nature and play a part in Traditional Chinese medical practices. These come from food and drink. They play the role of moisturizing parts of the body and manifest in the form of tears, saliva, joint fluid, sweat, and urine.
Types of TCM
There are different kinds of Traditional Chinese medicine, with each benefiting specific parts of the body. This time- trusted practices are still in use today.
1. Chinese Herbology
First of all is Chinese herbology, all the theory of Chinese herbal therapy, which constitutes the majority of ancient Chinese medical practices. It has not gained recognition for curing illnesses because those against it see it as not having a mechanism of action.
Although they have skeptics, people have taken Chinese herbs for centuries, as evidenced by the manuscript ” Recipes for 52 ailments.” The divine figure Shen Nong was the first recognized herbalist. Zhang Zhongjing later collated The Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders. There are now roughly 13000 types of herbs used in China and over 100000 recorded medical recipes. Usually, a single decoction requires between 9 to 18 substances.
Acupuncture works by stimulating the various acupoints in the body. Practitioners share that it restores the body’s energy flow. It cures a variety of conditions such as insomnia, toothache, skin conditions, and digestive problems.
Acupressure, or Chinese massage, also maintains the body’s Meridian system. The pressure from the masseuses’ thumbs activates and regulates Qi, allowing it to flow smoothly. This widely used practice promote physical and mental health. It treats a variety of joint problems and internal disorders.
4. Dietary therapy
The dietary advice given by a Chinese medical practitioner takes into account environmental factors such as season and geographical location. Its objective is to maintain harmony in the flow of Qi.
Practitioners recommend a suitable diet, doing so in conjunction with herbal remedies and exercise.
Also known as Chinese therapeutic exercise, it focuses on breathing techniques that direct the flow of Qi to different parts of the body. It involves slow movements that improve a person’s holistic health.
The Benefits of Ancient Chinese Medicine
Ancient Chinese medicine has definite benefits, which explains why people have trusted it for centuries. Here is what it can treat.
1. Reduces inflammation
First of all, TCM treatments are effective anti-inflammatories. For example, herbal mushrooms have antioxidant properties, according to the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. Since inflammation is at the heart of most diseases, TCM addresses most health issues.
2. Overcomes lifestyle habits
Also, TCM also helps people overcome their harmful lifestyles — it prompts patients to address stress issues. Herbal remedies that can help reduce oxidative stress include magic mushrooms, Cordyceps, and gooseberries.
3. Reduces chronic pain
Moreover, two of the most common TCM treatments, acupuncture, and acupressure, relieve chronic headaches. Practitioners recommend Qigong to get rid of tension headaches. Another study suggested that a month of acupressure treatment removes chronic migraines.
4. Balances hormones
Some Chinese herbal medicines are adaptogens that contain antioxidants and empty inflammatory compounds. These vastly improve the endocrine and central nervous systems. The play a part in balancing hormones like cortisol, testosterone, estrogen, and insulin. A Chinese study found that they reduced instances of diabetes in rats.
5. Improves Liver Health
The liver regulates a person’s emotions. Treating it helps to alleviate stress. TCM heals the liver and hence treats conditions like obesity, indigestion, insomnia, and emotional anxiety.
Five Lessons Ancient Chinese Medicine Can Teach us About Treating our Bodies
We can learn much about holistic health from ancient Chinese medicine. Paying attention to these lessons promotes total wellness.
First of all, TCM doctors promote the use of all the senses to discover illnesses. Expert TCM practitioners can smell cancer on a patient’s body.
What this suggests is a need for awareness. People should always listen to their bodies, which can reveal possible problems.
2. Focus on the diagnosis before the cure
Also, many TCM doctors will not prescribe medicine before coming up with a complete diagnosis of a patient’s condition. They will not recommend painkillers for pain until they know what’s causing it. What this teaches us is to understand a condition and all its aspects before treating it.
3. Holistic treatment
Furthermore, TCM encourages the treatment of the whole self. While Western Medical practitioners treat individual organs, practitioners of ancient Chinese medicine treat the whole body. Patients should keep Whole Health in mind.
They also consider all aspects of a person’s life, including family, food safety, and debt management. Some of them even dispense advice on a child’s schooling and caring for elderly parents.
4. Promoting Wellness
Traditional Chinese medicine applies even when a person isn’t sick. Seeing TCM doctors ensures that all a person’s health is in balance. It’s at for kids that doctors and patients alike should be concerned about wellness.
5. TCM is a lifelong practice
Finally, ancient Chinese medical practices apply throughout a person’s life. They explain The reverence old TCM doctors. Small wonder that they have taken centuries to develop. As such, doctors have to improve their medical skills continuously.
To conclude, the philosophy behind ancient Chinese medicine is a sound one, and it has many benefits for health. It teaches useful lessons on total well-being.