Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been practiced for over 3000 years. In TCM, the body is viewed as an energetic system that must have a harmonious flow of the vital energy known as Qi. When the Qi stagnates, becomes too much or too little, ill health occurs. Qi flows through energetic pathways known as meridians and along these meridians there are specific acupuncture points, which help specific bodily functions.
Chinese Medicine creates wholeness to all things mind, body, and spirit. TCM principals of life are defined in Yin and Yang. Imbalances within Yin and Yang can lead to ill health. Everything has a yin and a yang aspect, such as daytime, the sun, and masculine being Yang, and nighttime, the moon and feminine being Yin.
Yin: female, night, cool, slow, moon.
Yang: male, day, the sun, heat, fast.
There are 5 elements represented in Chinese Medicine: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. Inside each element are an organ, a season, a taste, bodily tissue and a sound.
Additionally, in TCM, there are 3 treasures
- Qi (vital essence)
- Jing (essence)
- Xue (blood)
The 3 treasures must remain in harmony flowing freely to have good health. For example, if you feel tired, you could be either Qi or Blood deficient. In extreme cases of exhaustion (such as in cancer), your kidney Jing may be deficient. Blood deficiency is common in cases with poor diet and/or heavy menstruation. Qi deficiency is common in those with long-term stress, emotional states, and over-activity. Jing is commonly lost through bodily fluids such as semen.
3 Ways TCM Can Help You
Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
By using TCM diagnostics by a Dr of Chinese medicine, you can find specific imbalances through a tongue and pulse diagnosis. Acupuncture can then be used to bring a balance back through the meridians and reestablish a healthy flow of Qi. Acupuncture works great for fertility, stress disorders, digestive problems and allergies.
Chinese herbs are great and a fast way to resolve illness. The herbs have a property of dry, cooling, warming, hot, damp, yin building, yang building and can work on the 3 treasures. This is why it is important have the correct herbs prescribed for you from a professional.
Practice Tai Qi, Qi Gong & Yoga
A great way to maintain your health is by practicing Tai Qi, Qi gong or Yoga. The ancient exercises keep Qi strong and flowing in harmony. They are also great to help reduce your stress levels and help you keep active. In China at 5 am, you see hundreds of 60+-year-olds in the parks doing their Tai Qi.
Eating according to the seasons is key to TCM. Do not eat cold raw foods in winter. Overindulging in sweet food can damage the spleen, leading to blood disorder and menstruation problems. Eating too much of one of the 5 flavors (salty, sweet, spicy, pungent and sour) can lead to disharmony. By eating seasonally and sensibly, you can maintain wellness through the diet in TCM. A great habit to get into is not drinking cold drinks (room temperature only). This helps keep your digestive fire strong.