Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) refers to a broad range of medicine practices which were developed in China over a tradition of more than 2000 years and include herbal medicine, acupuncture, tui-na, qi-gong and dietary therapy. It is a form of alternative therapy/medicine.
TCM is an ancient way of thinking and applying medicine concepts, which doesn’t dissociate them from life and its manifestation. More than any other system, TCM is devoted to quantifying not only the environment and its features but also how the body responds to the environment. For example, there are 365 acupuncture points, one for each day of the year, and there is a description concerning different weather conditions, and descriptions of how we should live in harmony, which is a dynamic model of course. TCM focuses less on body “types” and more on harmony between being and environment, like the seed of a plant and its soil, the rain, water quality, drainage quality, nourishments in the mineral content of the soil, passages of air in the soil, how much air there is, etc. The science of Chinese medicine is a system where everything is considered to be united and hence influences each-other.
A TCM practitioner diagnoses a disease according to the specific level of penetration of a certain pernicious or malignant weather condition. For example, a patient may have sickness due to wind dampness and therefore the treatment will be something which fights the cooling of wind and dampness.
TCM as a medicine is strongly based on and pivots around the concept of Qi, life- force energy. The concept of Qi refers to, broadly, a biological energy that allows us to survive. Qi, according to TCM, circulates through our bodies and travels through channels called meridians, which are all linked to vital organs.
This biological energy expresses in our body through electricity – for example, if a body has no electricity, the brain and heart cannot function. Thermal energy is referred to as Yang. Potential energy, like nourishments, or energy stored in fat and water, is referred to as Ying. Water is essential to the human body, and the body is 75% comprised of it. Energy is equal to matter which is accelarating, so all states of accellaration and different functions of the body are connected to a specific level of energy, or even a specific frequency of energy, which in modern day can be noted and measured on EEG.
The Chinese, over time, developed methods of pro-perfusion. Pro-perfusion means that they wanted to stimulate the vascularity of organs – they wanted a liver that was full of blood, they wanted a kidney that was completely capilarized and vascularized because the absence of that nourishment, arterial nourishment and lymphatic disbursement, tends to cause insufficiency first and disease after. This is why preventative medicine is very much based on where the person lives, what kind of food availability there is, when they’re eating it, and what kind of condition they have.
Chinese medicine uses a way to diagnose which is very extensive but can also be said to have been summarized or shortened, to the analysis of the pulse. Pulse diagnosis and tongue diagnosis are the main diagnostic tools but auscultation for lung-sounds and murmurs is also used, and the physician can also smell the breath of the patient, examine their skin, nails and eyes, and extensively question.
Chinese physicians were very pragmatic in measuring all the states of personalized health.They differentiated between people and health and the manifestation of disease. They were very skilled pathologists – understanding what the disease was and what the state of health was.Their anatomy for cultural reasons was not highly developed, nor a highly favored subject in China, so for centuries TCM practitioners had to imagine a certain function rather than actually seeing it. TCM is more concerned with identifying ill or well functioning entities (such as lungs, liver, stomach, etc) within the body. Health is perceived to be related to the vital organs, Qi and blood perfusion, interacting harmoniously with the outside world, whereas diseases are interpreted as disharmonies in these interactions.