Chinese Medicine - health and longevity philosophy
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) goes back over 3,000 years and includes four distinct methods of treatment: herbology, acupuncture, manipulative therapy and food cures. It also encompasses the remedial exercises qi-gong and tai-ji.
In TCM, the understanding of the human body is based on the holistic understanding of the universe, and the treatment of illness is based primarily on the diagnosis and differentiation of syndromes.
This system of medicine is partly based on the idea that an energy, called qi (say "chee"), flows along pathways in the body called meridians. In this belief, if the flow of qi along these meridians is blocked or unbalanced, illness can occur.
Another important concept is "yin and yang". In this approach, all things, including the body, are composed of opposing forces called yin and yang. Health is said to depend on the balance of these forces. Traditional Chinese medicine focuses on maintaining the yin-yang balance to maintain health and prevent illness.
In order to maintain balance, it is also important for Chinese Medicine to understand the concept of the five elements, which refers to the nature of materials as well as their interrelationships, and can be applied into medical philosophy for clinical applications. The five elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.
Each of the five groups include categories such as a season, a direction, climate, stage of growth and development, internal organ, body tissue, emotion, aspect of the soul, taste, color, sound. Each individual can have a more predominant influence of one of the elements, expressing the strengths and weaknesses of that element, and also be more vulnerable to developing health issues related to their constitution.
The Five Elements reflect a deep understanding of natural law, the Universal order underlying all things in our world.
Chinese medical theory is not only used to diagnose and treat illnesses, but most concepts of its foundation can also be applied into our daily lives.
Ancient Chinese wisdom can be integrated into lifestyle, practical self-care, nutrition, sleep and other practices to create balance and promote health and longevity.