Traditional Chinese Medicine
Chinese Medicine has withstood the test of time as it has literally been around for thousands of years. In Eastern countries it is considered mainstream medicine. It offers very useful diagnostic and treatment methods.
Conditions that seem to defy explanation in Western terms can often be eloquently explained by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles. For example - a traditional North American treatment for the common cold is warm chicken soup. We use this because our Grandmother told us it was good for us, because we are supposed to consume fluids when we are sick, because we have very little appetite and it tastes good and because it is soothing. In TCM, the common cold is often called a "Wind-Cold Invasion" - the chicken soup is beneficial because the chicken, onions and spices are "Warm" foods which help remove the "Cold". This is a very simplified example of how TCM looks at illness and treatment.
In diagnosis, TCM uses the Five Element Theory and The Eight Principles to help determine the origin of symptoms. It also uses Tongue and Pulse diagnosis as a window into the body's function. In Chinese medicine, the same condition can have many different origins and in order to treat it properly you must know the origin.
The main treatments in TCM are acupuncture and herbal medicine. Acupuncture is based on the belief that the body is made up of pathways of energy, called meridians. Illness can be a result of blockages or excesses in these pathways. The acupuncture needles act much like conduits to redirect or move the energy to create balance. Chinese herbal medicine is somewhat different than Western herbology - as it does not base its prescriptions on physiology or pharmacology. It works more on an energetic level - matching the characteristic of an herb with the characteristic of the illness.
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