Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complete,
self-contained and comprehensive medical system that has its
own theoretical approach, diagnostic methods, and its own
range of treatments.
TCM has five main branches, each of which is a complete discipline
2. Qi Gong
3. Tuina Massage
4. Esoteric practices such as Feng Shui and I Ching
It may be said that TCM is wholistic in that
it sees the human body on physical and energetic levels
and as part
of its own surroundings and indeed as an integral
part of the Universe.
The body is affected by both natural and environmental factors
as well as so-called endogenous factors internal to the
Exogenous (or outer) factors are Wind, Heat,
Cold, Damp, and Dryness. These each have their own qualities,
signs and symptoms and methods for treatments. As an example:
the Common Cold, presents in Chinese Medicine as Tai Yang
Syndrome or Wind/Cold. If the disharmony moves more deeply
into the body, it will become Shao Yang Wind/Cold and Wind/Heat
existing side by side, which in turn becomes Yang Ming Syndrome
or Wind/Heat. Each phase of the disharmony has its own diagnostic
signs and symptoms, treatment principles and treatment methods.
Endogenous, or internal factors are the emotions
of Anger, Worry, Grief ( which is subdivided into acute
sudden onset response to loss and the more chronic 'sorrow'
which lingers for months or years, Fear ( which is subdivided
into the acute 'fright' response to specific stimulus and
the more chronic characterized by phobias), and Joy.
According to Five Elements Theory, each of
the major organ systems is responsible for a cardinal emotion.
The Liver houses Anger; The Spleen houses Worry, the Lungs
house Grief, the Kidneys house Fear, and the Heart houses
Joy. Long-standing emotional disharmony have clear signs
and symptoms in the body. For example, fatigue is a clear
sign of Spleen disharmony, and irritability is a clear sign
of Liver disharmony.
A third cause of disease are the so-called
miscellaneous causes like traumatic injury, broken bones,
snake bite, animal or insect bites and so on.
Every part of the body is related intimately
and intricately to every other part of the body and to it
environment. It is impossible in Chinese Medicine to deal
with only 1 body part or symptom without taking into account
the effect on the whole body. In fact, many treatments are
aimed at strengthening the body as a whole in order to treat
a problem in one part of it.
Human beings exist as an integral part of
an energy field in the Universe. This energy, called Qi,
exists both in the Universe and in the human organism.
According to Taoist philosophy upon which Traditional Chinese
Medicine is based, Qi is the motive force of the Universe.
It is universal. There is no place that Qi is
not. There is no thing that does not have Qi. Qi energy
is what gives all things their character. In medical practice
there are several different kinds of Qi that perform
different functions in the body.