Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is
a holistic system of healthcare offering a unique perspective on the nature of health and disease. Health and illness are described in terms of natural phenomena (heat, cold, wet, dry, excess, deficiency, etc.) and are subject to natural law. Investigation and observation of these natural laws in the human body are the basis for diagnosis and treatment. When the body is out of natural balance diagnostic patterns appear, as shown in the pulse, tongue, face, voice, symptoms and many other ways. Where western medicine uses a biochemical model with pharmaceuticals as the primary treatment, Chinese medicine uses an energy model with movement of energy as the primary treatment (see meridian theory). Moving or balancing energy promotes the body’s capacity for rejuvenation. The Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner uses tiny needles to conduct messages via body pathways in order to correct imbalances. Also, the properties of Chinese herbs are formulated into a prescription specific to a pattern of imbalance. Traditional Chinese Medicine has several branches including: Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, TCM Dietetics, Moxibustion, qi gong exercises and others. Each holistic modality is used to balance the body’s energy to achieve health and wellness. Many types of conditions are treated when the whole body environment becomes balanced. The results have been so beneficial that it is still practiced by one third of the world today. 📷
Legend has it that the theory of energy flowing in the body was discovered about 4,000 years ago in China. During a war a soldier was hit in the back of the knee with a rock and his chronic low back pain got better. Why did pressure on the back of the knee help the low back? What connected the two parts? It was found that certain points on the body would have an effect on another part of the body. You can draw a line between the two areas. These experiments were duplicated and refined over the last 4,000 years resulting in maps of pathways throughout the body called meridians. There are 14 main meridians and smaller collateral meridians. What is flowing in these pathways was determined to be an invisible energy that baths every tissue and cell. The Chinese word for energy is qi (ch'i). Why does the back of the knee affect the low back? One meridian pathway runs along the back of the knee to the low back. Rock throwing has long been replaced with tiny steril stainless steel needle insertion to stimulate the flow of qi.
Qi is a type of energy, a force that performs work in the body moving in self-propagated waves through tissues and cells via channels within the body. We know qi is there through cause and effect. Qi is always in motion and should be flowing smoothly. When the qi flow is interrupted, flows aberrantly, in excess, or in deficiency, it can lead to ill health. In Western medicine we make a hypothesis, guessing what might be true and then go about proving if it is true. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the ancient Chinese saw that the cause and effect of needle insertion was true and reproducible. They continued to use it leaving the ‘why’ and ‘wherefore’ questions for later. It is the worlds largest clinical trial. Now, as then, it is a lifetime endeavor to seek out, What is qi?