Traditional Chinese medicine is an indispensable part of the glorious culture of the Chinese nation.
Traditional Chinese medicine (also known as TCM, simplified Chinese: 中医; traditional Chinese:
中醫; pinyin: zhōngyī) is considered a Complementary or Alternative
Medical system in most of the world. It includes a range of traditional
medical practices originating in China that developed over several
thousand years. The English phrase "TCM" was created in the 1950s by the
PRC in order to export Chinese medicine;
there is no equivalent phrase in Chinese. In fact, TCM is a modern
compilation of traditional Chinese medicine. TCM practices include
theories, diagnosis and treatments such as herbal medicine, acupuncture
and massage; often Qigong is also strongly affiliated with TCM. TCM is a
form of so-called Oriental medicine, which includes other traditional East Asian medical systems such as traditional Japanese and Korean medicine.
Traditional chinese herbal medicine(left), and Acupuncture(right).
Massage(left) and Qigong(right).
TCM theory asserts that processes of the human body are interrelated
and in constant interaction with the environment. TCM practitioners
believe signs of disharmony help them to understand, treat and prevent
illness and disease.
In the West, traditional Chinese medicine is
considered a form of complementary and alternative medicine. TCM theory is based on a number of philosophical frameworks including
the theory of Yin-yang, the Five Elements, the human body Meridian
system, Zang Fu organ theory, and others. Diagnosis and treatment are
conducted with reference to these concepts. TCM does not operate within
the contemporary scientific paradigm, but some practitioners make
efforts to bring practices into a biomedical and evidence-based medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine is largely based on
the philosophical concept that the human body is a small universe with a
set of complete and sophisticated interconnected systems, and that
those systems usually work in balance to maintain the healthy function
of the human body. The balance of yin and yang is considered with
respect to qi ("breath", "life force", or "spiritual energy"), blood,
jing ("kidney essence" or "semen"), other bodily fluids, the Five
elements, emotions, and the soul or spirit (shen). TCM has a
unique model of the body, notably concerned with the meridian system.
Unlike the Western anatomical model which divides the physical body into
parts, the Chinese model is more concerned with function. Thus, the TCM
Spleen is not a specific piece of flesh, but an aspect of function
related to transformation and transportation within the body, and of the
mental functions of thinking and studying.
There are significant
regional and philosophical differences between practitioners and schools
which in turn can lead to differences in practice and theory.
Models of the body include:
Yin or Yang Five elements Zang Fu theory Meridian (Chinese medicine) Three jiaos also known as the Triple Burner or the Triple Warmer
Yin Yang(left), Five Elements(center), and Zang Fu Organs(right).
Meridians(left), and Three jiaos(right).
The Yin/Yang and five element theories may be applied to a variety of
systems other than the human body, whereas Zang Fu theory, meridian
theory and three-jiao (Triple warmer) theories are more specific. There are also separate models that apply to specific pathological
influences, such as the Four stages theory of the progression of warm
diseases, the Six levels theory of the penetration of cold diseases, and
the Eight principles system of disease classification
Palpation of the patient's radial artery pulse (Pulse diagnosis) in six positions Observation of the appearance of the patient''''s tongue Observation of the patient's face Palpation of the patient's body (especially the abdomen) for tenderness Observation of the sound of the patient's voice Observation of the surface of the ear Observation of the vein on the index finger on small children Comparisons of the relative warmth or coolness of different parts of the body Observation of the patient's various odors Asking the patient about the effects of his problem