What is Chinese Medicine?
Chinese medicine is an energy- based health practice, focused on disease prevention, seeing the human body as an energetic, vibrant being, possessing vital energy, called ‘Qi’ (pronounced "Chee"). ‘Qi’ activates all the processes of the body. Abundant Qi is the basis of good health and weakness of Qi may lead to disease.
“The root of the way of life, of birth, and change is Qi;
the myriad things of heaven and earth all obey this law.
Man’s possession of life is completely dependent upon this Qi”.
- Huang Di Nei Jing,
Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, 500BC
Chinese Medicine is a holistic medicine, that the human body is a small universe within a bigger universe represented by environment, each are close and inseparable connection to each other. Disease is a state, in which the body loses its harmonious relationship with the environment and within the body itself.
With holistic medicine approach within the body, one example is, Liver main functions as storing blood, maintaining free flow of Qi, controlling the tendons, manifesting in the nails and opening into the eyes. The nourishment and moistening of Liver-Blood gives the eyes the good vision. If Liver-Blood is deficient, there can be blurry vision or dry eyes. Another example, the Kidneys function relates to brain and bone, and open into the ear.
Each organ, each disease, is seen within the context of the whole. Two persons may appear to have the same disease, however, each person is distinct, individual. Their similar conditions may have different root causes. Therefore, treatments in Chinese medicine are highly individualized.
From the western perspective, some of the terms related to ‘Qi’ are oxygen, nitric oxide, ATP (adenosine triphosphate), and mitochondria function.
“The superior doctor is one who can successfully check the disease before they develop”.
~ Nei Jing
“To cure a disease is like waiting until one is thirsty before digging a well”.
~ Li Shi Zhen (1508-1593)
In Chinese medicine, one major cause of imbalances and illnesses is emotions, which are connected to different organs, such as grief and sadness affect the Lung. Emotions, in western terms can be translated as autonomic nervous system and vagus nerve which affect the organs, as in Chinese medicine. Emotions can disrupt energy balance, confuse mind and scatter spirit. Emotional well-being means physical well-being.
Disease is a result of energy blockages creating imbalances in the internal climate of our body.
Thus, the aim of Chinese Medicine is to restore the natural balance of both the body and the mind to achieve equilibrium of Qi and blood, thus stimulating the body’s self-healing power. The self-healing power includes immune system, detoxification process, and regeneration of cells.
“Chinese medicine is the dimension of life.
What happens in the dimension of life is actually
invisible to biology.”
~ Medical Director of Beijing Tong Ren Tang
(Chinese pharmaceutical company founded in 1669)