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Traditional Chinese Medicine: What Should You Know?

Traditional Chinese Medicine: What Should You Know?

Among the multiple options that people opt to sort out their medical problems, there is always a reason behind their choice. Some make choices based on traditions, culture, information, religion, etc. Their belief often influences this in the approach and reliability of past experiences. Traditional Chinese medicine is among the ancient methods of medicine that have stood the test of time.


It is among the few cultural-based medical approaches globally recognized and appreciated across various regions. This is ideal because of the keenly knitted methods of approaching medical conditions and the simple yet effective manner of operations. Most people will relate Traditional Chinese medicine to acupuncture and qi, but are they all that the art is all about?

The History, Principles, and Philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine

TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is a natural and ancient form of healing that identifies and emphasizes the inseparable relationship between nature, body, spirit, and mind. Some scholars also argue its theories and principles and the basics of spiritual practice, or what the modern world calls spirituality.

It is a healing approach practiced by TCM physicians and qigong masters. It's believed that early practitioners got their inspiration from and accessed the operations of natural law during spiritual journeys and deep meditation. These ancient TCM practitioners derived the theories and principles through observing the inner world on how body organs use their energetic functions.

Through their energy practice, they activated their inner vision. They began closely relating the body's function to the five elements, i.e., water, earth, metal, wood, and fire. This is the understanding behind the yin-yang principle, a fundamental aspect of quantum mechanics.

With all the findings and observations, TCM rests on four major principles, namely;

1.    The Body is an Integrated Vessel

One of the basic understandings of TCM is that all structures in our bodies are necessary. It's categorically pointed out that together with your emotions, spirit, and mind, the physical body is miraculously complex yet an interrelated system powered by energy or life force. The practice emphasizes that our bodies are whole, and all their parts are integral in leading a healthy life.

2.    We are Entirely Connected to Nature

According to TCM, nature-based changes trigger specific alterations to our bodies. The core health issues in TCM are carefully addressed based on a specific season, time of the day, and geographical location. These, alongside age, body conditions, and genetics, are believed to play a vital role in your overall health.


3.    Everyone is Born with Natural Self-Healing Abilities

TCM relates our bodies' microcosm to natures' macrocosm. Concerning this understanding, basic nature's laws, like its regenerative capacity, can reflect in our bodies. It might appear impossible to access this aspect, but it's never a lost cause. Have you ever wondered why you could recover from conditions such as fatigue by recharging your body through rest?

4.    The Best Cure is Prevention

Among the best principle and yet the outstanding aspect of TCM, compared to other forms of medicine, is its approach to healing. According to the masters of the craft, our bodies are always in constant communication with us. This includes telling us if something is amiss. We often get those signs that something needs to be corrected, but most, if not every time, we ignore the symptoms until the situation is complicated enough. TCM equips practitioners with the ability to interpret such symptoms and catch the problem early enough before it grows to become something major.

The Five Elements: How Traditional Chinese Medicine Classifies the Natural World

The five elements in TCM showcase the relationship between nature’s elements and the life force that flows through them. TCM denotes that every individual is a combination of the elements, and balance is needed to be truly healthy. This is the basis TCM practitioners use to customize an effective and comprehensive treatment plan for patients.


The five elements are constantly changing and moving. Each one becomes dominant at particular times in a natural cycle, affecting a person’s health. The elements are used to explain and interpret pathology and psychology. Each element is linked to a set of body organs, emotions, weather, senses, color, and flavor, i.e.;

       i.         Wood - Denoted by the color green. Expresses an emotion of anger, thrives in windy weather, has a sour flavor, and is present in the liver, tendons, gallbladder, and eyes.

     ii.         Fire - Denoted by red. Expresses a joyous emotion, thrives in heat weather, has a bitter flavor, and is present in the heart, pulse, and tongue.

    iii.         Earth - Denoted by yellow. Expresses a pensive emotion, thrives in damp weather, has a sweet flavor, and is present in the spleen, mouth, stomach, and muscles.

    iv.         Metal - Denoted by the color white. Expresses the emotion of sadness, thrives in dry weather, has a pungent flavor, and is present in the lungs, skin, and nose.

     v.         Water – Denoted by the color black. Expresses an emotion of fear, thrives in cold weather, has a salty flavor, and is present in kidneys, bones, and ears.

Understanding Qi: The Key Concept in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Qi is usually described as a vital life force. However, this concept of TCM goes beyond that simple definition. Classical Chinese philosophy defines qi as the force that makes up everything in the universe and binds them. Ideally, it is both nothing and everything. Qi has two major branches; the nourishing or physical, which consists of the water, air, and food we consume, and the insubstantial portion, which consists of the energy and vital fluids that flow through the body. This can further be distinguished as the things that we consume and make part of us and those that already exist in us to continue the life cycle. According to TCM, the interruptions and imbalances of the flow of this force trigger most human ailments – mental, emotional, and physical.

Common Conditions Treated with Traditional Chinese Medicine

TCM is a medical system used for over two millenniums to prevent, diagnose, and treat various ailments. TCM addresses the imbalances of the flow of qi that is usually caused by environmental factors, lifestyle factors, and internal emotions. Some of the common practices used in TCM to promote self-healing mechanisms in the body include;

·       Acupressure and acupuncture

·       Herbal medicine

·       Chinese massage

·       Moxibustion

·       Nutrition

·       Exercise.

Every case presented to the practitioner is always addressed uniquely since there is a need to determine the root cause of the problem and counter it directly. Traditional Chinese Medicine is used to treat multiple conditions. However, some of the most common conditions treated with TCM include;

·       Obesity

·       High cholesterol

·       Arthritis

·       Male & female fertility disorders

·       Parkinson disease

·       Recurrent cystitis

·       Heart disease

·       Diabetes

·       Depression

·       Back pain

·       Alzheimer disease

·       Digestive disorder

·       Nausea & vomiting.

While the above are the ailments commonly known for TCM recommendations, the practice is ideal for treating allergies, cancer, sinusitis, pain, osteoporosis, sleep problems, constipation, epilepsy, asthma, stroke, addiction, menopausal symptoms, infections, stress, and diabetic neuropathy.

Traditional Chinese medicine has ever been popular for its approach to ailments and effectiveness in solutions. It is practiced with the utmost understanding of the human body, which is why its methods have proven to have long-term positive results. It's important to consider useful ways when looking for TCM practitioners as it will be key in service delivery. Visit ArabiaMD to find experts in Chinese medicine.

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