Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete system of healing which has proven its effectiveness in eastern Asia for over 4000 years. In recent years it has gained considerable recognition in United States and Europe not only for its ability to cure existing conditions but also for preventing the onset of diseases and life threatening illnesses. This proactive approach has positioned TCM as a reliable and effective addition to the overall health and wellness paradigm in the western cultures and is gaining momentum. As a complementary system it integrates well with the current western medical systems and offers a comprehensive methodology for Total Wellness.
The ancient medicine of TCM is rooted in the Taoist view that each person is a seamless unity of mind body and spirit. This unity is a reflection of and depends upon the harmonious existence with the natural world around the person. Each element plays a key role in persons Total Wellness and therefore must be addressed in any diagnostic or therapeutic practice. It is for this reason that a TCM physician concentrates his diagnostic efforts far beyond the patient’s basic physical illness and medical history. By examining the whole patient and his/her interaction with the surrounding environment, the physician is able to differentially diagnose the patient’s imbalances and develop treatment plans that are specific and unique to each patient.
Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments are directed toward enhancing the body’s immune, hormonal, nervous and metabolic systems, regulating and strengthening the organ functions, promoting smooth, unhindered flow of the vital energy known as Qi (chi) throughout the body. In doing this, the body is able to heal itself with minimal external intervention in form of drugs or other invasive procedures. This approach has the added benefit of prevention.
The elements & their role in wellness
In Taoist philosophy, nature, the universe and the human body are interrelated. To help explain this, Taoists have developed various models. The Tai Ji, Wu Xing, Ba Gua are some of these models. In particular, the Wu Xing, or five elements model is extensively used in Traditional Chinese medicine for diagnostic and therapeutic application. The five elements including fire, earth, metal, water and wood represent phases of the universal energy and each has a specific role in the human body. The interplay of these elements, their energetic influences and relative abundance or deficiency in the body creates conditions for diseases to develop. A trained physician can identify the patients Constitutional predisposition and any imbalances and correct them, restoring harmony and well being.
Yin and Yang, The perpetual Tai Chi
Another essential part of the traditional Chinese medicine, and perhaps one of the oldest truths in the ancient Taoist philosophy, comes from the Tai Chi, the perpetual interplay of the Yin and Yang polarities of the universe. These energies are like the positive and negative, feminine and masculine, day and night, excess and deficient. The interplay of these energies are seen everywhere in nature and are ever present in human life. The Tai Chi relationship of these elements and further expounds one of the ancient truths by illustrating that each elements also contains the seed of the opposing element (as indicated by the black and white dots). The TCM physician can identify any imbalances in the body of Yin and Yang energies and correct these with acupuncture, herbs and energetic exercises. Once balance is restored, the body returns to the state of Tai Chi, or total wellness.
Ancient wisdom modern applications
TCM is experiencing a rebirth in the modern world. Driven, mainly by consumer awareness of health and wellness issues, and their search for natural methods to improve total wellness and extend quality of life. Many of the new modern disorders ranging from autoimmune conditions to stress related illnesses respond well to the ancient wisdom of TCM.
In my clinical experience many patients have benefited by our proactive Wellness services and maintenance programs where we do not wait for illness to occur before we begin treatment. With appropriate Nutrition and Lifestyle, Mind body exercises, regular Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, we can maintain the state of Tai Chi and prevent illnesses from developing. With your active participation and careful application of the ancient wisdom, you can enjoy a long life of total wellness