East Meets West
Why is Traditional Chinese Medicine uniquely beautiful?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the oldest and most sophisticated—and arguably the safest and most effective—healing system in the world. It has sustained the health and longevity of one of the world’s longest ongoing civilization for over five thousand years. Passed down from family to family, generation to generation.
Its origins stem from the ancient philosophy that views a person as a whole—body and mind are unified, one influencing the other. This emphasis makes TCM a truly holistic therapy. It is an intuitive practice that uses its own theoretical principles to identify patterns of disharmony. Acupuncture, acupressure, herbal remedies, and exercise are all forms of TCM.
INDIVIDUAL- read more...
Modern Western medicine subscribes to the “single agent” theory of disease. A specific external pathogen is to be blamed for a disease. The majority of treatments involve the use of drugs or surgery designed to have a specific action on only one or two particular complaints. TCM, on the other hand, does not treat a single symptom, or even a disease. It treats a patient. It looks at the whole person: the whole body, mind and spirit, as well as the surrounding circumstances and factors that may be playing a role in his or her state of health. Each patient is an individual unlike any other. Accordingly every patient is treated individually, because what relieves the symptoms of one may have no effect at all on another having the same complaint. For example, a conventional physician dealing with a patient who is suffering from acute pain in the lower back would focus the examination on the symptom of lower back pain. Diagnosis might be acute muscle strain. Treatment might consist of bed rest, anti-inflammatory and muscle-relaxing medication, and stretching exercises. In contrast, a practitioner of TCM who consults with the same patient may find, through examination and questioning, that the patient’s back is weak, sore, and painful; the legs are without strength; and that the patient is experiencing insomnia, tinnitus, and vertigo. Furthermore, he or she is also experiencing an agitated mood; increased thirst; heavy night sweating; mild fever in the afternoon; constipation, and dark, yellow urine. The patient’s tongue is red and the pulse is rapid and thin. The pattern of disharmony would be diagnosed as deficient kidney yin. While other patients suffering from similar acute muscle strain of the lower back may be diagnosed in TCM terms as dampness and cold, dampness and heat, or qi stagnation and blood stasis. Accordingly each patient is treated individually and differently.
HOSLISTIC- read more...
In Western medicine the diagnosis, and therefore the treatment, is usually focused on the symptom or the end result of the disease process, such as heart attach, frozen shoulder, or kidney stone and so on. In contrast TCM aims to determine and treat the underlying cause or “root” of the condition, rather than just the manifestation of the disease. The area in which the disease appears, such as the heart, is merely an indication of how the body has been affected by the disruption of its energies. In other words, a person does not get a heart problem in an otherwise healthy body. In the previous example of the patient with acute back muscle strain who is diagnosed as deficient kidney yin, treatment may consist of a combination of acupuncture, acupressure, herbs, and tai chi to tone the kidneys and to increase the yin, reducing lower back pain and bringing balance to the entire body. That is why in many cases of chronic illness the patient who is treated by Western means may have to remain on medicine for life, since the drugs, although possibly controlling the symptoms admirably, may have no effect on the underlying condition. TCM treats the body in such a way as to raise it to a level of energy at which it can heal itself, reversing chronic diseases to a certain extent.
PREVENTIVE AND NATURAL- read more...
TCM watches over the body’s natural ability to heal and balance itself, and seeks to treat imbalances before they trigger physical symptoms. It works in partnership with the patients, who must take responsibility for his or her own health by adopting an appropriate lifestyle: diet, exercise or other techniques to support mental health and inner peace. It tries to avoid triggering new problems with preventive measures, such as taking an Asprin every day for heart health at the cost of irritating the digestive system.
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