Chinese Medicine (TCM)
中医 Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an integral part of Chinese culture. For thousands of years, it has made great contribution to the development and prosperity of Chinese nation, and the health of the Chinese people. Perhaps it is the one of symbols that best represents Chinese culture.
In comparison with Western medicine, the Chinese medicine takes a far different approach. It is an ancient but very vital holistic system, based on the Chinese philosophy of the heaven, earth and human, and the notion of harmony and balance, employing the ideas of moderation and prevention. With a recorded history of over 2000 years, TCM has formed a deep and immense knowledge of medical theory, diagnostic methods, prescriptions and cures. Since the ancient times, especi8ally the Han and Tang Dynasties, TCM has been spread all over the world, especially, in Asia.
1. Main aspects of TCM's concept of the human body, health, and disease, are essential Qi, Yin and Yang, the Five Elements, correspondence between human and the universe, the Zang-Fu organs, qi and blood, meridians and Six Exogenous Pathogenic Factors.
The Theory of Essential Qi
Yin and Yang Theory
Five Element Theory
Correspondence between Human and the Universe
2. Four Methods of Diagnosis
It is a wonder that Chinese doctors could cure countless patients without any assistant apparatus but only a physical examination. The four methods of diagnosis consist of observation, auscultation and olfaction, interrogation, pulse taking and palpation.
Observation indicates that doctors directly watch the outward appearance to know a patient's condition. As the exterior and interior corresponds immediately, when the inner organs run wrongly, it will be reflected through skin pallor, tongue, the facial sensory organs and some excrement.
Auscultation and olfaction is a way for doctors to collect messages through hearing the sound and smelling the odor. This is another reference for diagnosis.
Interrogation suggests that doctors question the patient and his relatives, so as to know the symptoms, evolution of the disease and previous treatments.
The taking of the pulse and palpation refer that doctors noting the pulse condition of patients on the radial artery, and then to know the inner change of symptom. Doctors believe that when the organic function is normal, the pulse, frequency, and intension of pulse will be relatively stable, and when not, variant.
3. TCM Therapy
When treating a disease, doctors of traditional Chinese medicine usually find the patient's condition through these four diagnostic methods: observation, auscultation and olfaction, interrogation, pulse, and palpation. Combining the collected facts and according to their internal relations, doctors will utilize the dialectics to analyze the source and virtue of the disease. Then make sure what prescription should be given. In traditional Chinese medicine, the drugs are also different from the West, because doctors have discovered the medicinal effects of thousand of herbs over a long period of time and developed hundreds of prescriptions. Before taking the medicine, the patient will have to decoct those herbs the doctor prescribed. Then there is the distinctive method of preparation, associated with the acupuncture and massage, the treatment will take effect magically.
TCM therapy largely consists of Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, dietary therapy, and tui na massage. The health promoting aspects of qigong and taiji are also closely associated with it.
Such a complicated medical approach had come down thanks to records like he Yellow Emperor's Canon of Interior Medicine, Shen Nong's Canon of Herbs, Nan Jing (Difficult Classic or Classic of Medical Problems), Shang Han Za Bing Lun (Treatise on Cold-induced and Miscellaneous Diseases), and the Compendium of Materia Medica, which are all comprehensive and profound works.