One of the basic tenets of TCM is that “the body’s vital energy “chi” circulates through channels, called meridians, that have branches connected to bodily organs and functions.” Concepts of the body and of disease used in TCM reflect its ancient origins and its emphasis on dynamic processes over material structure.
TCM Key Principles
- Your body is an integrated whole. Each and every structure in your body is an integral and necessary part of the whole. Along with your mind, emotions, and spirit, your physical body structures form a miraculously complex, interrelated system that is powered by life force, or energy.
- You are completely connected to nature. Changes in nature are always reflected in your body. TCM factors in the particular season, geographical location, time of day, as well as your age, genetics, and the condition of your body when looking at your health issues.
- You were born with a natural self-healing ability. Your body is a microcosm that reflects the macrocosm. Think about it: nature has a regenerative capacity, and so do you. Sometimes, this ability may appear to be lost or difficult to access. In most cases, it is never completely gone.
- Prevention is the best cure. Do you know your body is continually revealing signs about the state of your health? It’s common to ignore these signs or symptoms until something more complicated arises. TCM teaches you how to interpret what your body is telling you.
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture is the practice of inserting needles into the superficial skin, subcutaneous tissue, and muscles at particular acupuncture points and manipulating them.
- Moxibustion. Moxibustion is a therapy that involves burning moxa (mugwort root) made from dried Artimesia vulgaris (spongy herb) to facilitate healing. Burning moxa produces a great deal of smoke and a pungent odor that often is confused with that of cannabis. The purpose of moxibustion is to warm and invigorate the blood, stimulate the flow of chi, strengthen the kidney Yang, expel wind and disperse cold, and dissolve stagnation. Historically, this therapy had been used to treat menstrual pain.
- Tui Na massage. Tui na (a combination of massage, acupressure, and other forms of body manipulation) is a form of Asian bodywork therapy that has been used in China for centuries.
- Cupping. Cupping is a type of Chinese massage, consisting of placing several glass or plastic “cups” (open spheres) on the body. TCM practitioners warm the cups using a cotton ball or other flammable substance, which is then placed inside the cup to remove all the oxygen.
- Chinese herbs. The substances TCM practitioners most commonly use can come from different leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds of plants such as cinnamon bark, ginger, ginseng, licorice, and rhubarb.
- Chinese nutrition. Chinese nutrition is a mode of dieting rooted in Chinese understandings of the effects of food on the human organism. In Chinese nutrition, a balanced diet is one that includes all 5 tastes—spicy (warming), sour (cooling), bitter (cooling), sweet (strengthening), and salty (cooling).
- Qigong. Qigong is an ancient energy practice passed down by ancient masters who understood the interconnections inherent in the Universe and between man and nature.
In TCM, there are as many as 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body that are connected by 12 main meridians. These meridians conduct energy, or “chi” between the surface of the body and its internal organs. Acupuncture is believed to keep the balance between Yin and Yang, thus allowing for the normal flow of “chi” throughout the body and restoring health to the mind and body.
TCM practitioners use 5 basic methods of diagnosis in their assessments, including looking, listening, smelling, asking, and touching. Inspection not only focuses on the patient’s physical appearance and behavior, but it also pays particular attention on the tongue. A TCM practitioner’s analysis of the tongue will include its size, shape, tension, color, and coating.
TCM Five Elements
The five elements from which all things are aid to be composed are earth (spleen, stomach), water (kidney, bladder), wood (gallbladder, liver), fire (heart, small intestine) and metal (lungs, large intestine). Essentially, the five-element analysis uses many unique aspects of the patient history, as well as observations of the patient´s face, voice, specific tastes in food, seasonal preferences, as well as their emotional temperament.
TCM Chi Energy
According to Chinese medicine, the “chí ” that is extracted from the food aids in the information of our blood. Our blood, which also carries a form of “chi”, is said to serve the function of nourishing and moistening our body´s organs and tissues. “Chi” maybe the underlying activating force that causes our blood to circulate throughtout our bodies, aided by the pumping action and hydraulic-pressure waves created by our beating heart. But “chi” can be used appropriately only if our acupuncture-meridian system is free from blockages or energy imbalances.
In TCM there are different types of “chi” energy circulate throughout our bodies and that deficiency or imbalance in any single type of “chi” energy can also contribute to ill health. Type of “chi”: ancestral chi (stored in kidneys) , nourishing chi (meridians), defensive chi (meridians) and noxious external energy disturbances (external environment).
When TCM benefits your health
TCM is suggested, if you have any kind of
- body pain
- skin problems
- hair loss
- gastrointestinal problems
- infectious based dis-eases
- or just want your “chi” flow better.