What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient medical system that first originated in China and has been used to diagnose, treat, and prevent illnesses for more than 2,500 years. Aside from providing remedy to ailments and changing states of mind, it can be used to improve recuperative power, immunity from potential illnesses, and the capacity for pleasure, work and creativity.
The 5 elements in Traditional Chinese Medicine
In TCM, the five elements outline the relationship between the different elements and the life force called “qi” flowing through them. The basic elements are wood, earth, fire, metal, and water. Each element is associated with different body parts.
- Wood - Liver, gallbladder, tendons, eyes
- Earth - Spleen, stomach, mouth, muscles
- Fire - Heart, tongue, pulse
- Metal - Lungs, nose, skin
- Water - Kidneys, ears, bones
Each element both controls and promotes another:
- Wood controls earth
- Earth controls water
- Water controls fire
- Fire controls metal
- Metal controls wood
- Wood promotes fire
- Fire promotes earth
- Earth promotes metal
- Metal promotes water
- Water promotes wood
What does Traditional Chinese Medicine treat?
TCM does not focus on science and medicine. As a matter of fact, it is based on balance, harmony, and energy. There are two central ideas behind it:
- Qi - This is also called vital energy or life energy. It is believed that qi runs throughout the person’s body. It is always moving and constantly changing. Treatments used in TCM aim to promote and maintain the flow of qi energy.
- Yin and Yang - These are the opposites describing the qualities of qi. It is believed that everything in life has its own opposite, and balance is the key. Treatments used aim to adjust and harmonise the Yin and Yang.
- Yin - hot, light, dry, feminine, day, hollow, outer
- Yang - cold, heavy, wet, masculine, night, solid, inner
There are several modalities in TCM which include:
Benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Balancing the harmony of Yin and Yang are achieved by regulating and stimulating Qi energy, moisture, and blood. This allows the weak organs to be toned, congested channels to open, tightness to be softened, excess to be removed, agitation to be calmed, coldness to be warmed, heat to be cooled, dryness to be moistened, and dampness to be drained.
The following are some benefits that can be gained from TCM: