Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Li ShizhenAlmost every westerner today knows something about acupuncture, but most westerners know very little about the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) system -- a method of healing that has been used thousands years and it still being used every day in China.

Chinese medicine is a coherent and independent system of thought, it has been developed over two millennia. Based on ancient texts, it is the results of a continuous process of critical thinking, as well as extensive clinical observation and testing. It represents a thorough formulation and reformulation of material by respected clinicians and theoreticians. It is also, however, rooted in the philosophy, logic, sensibility, developed its own perception of the body and of health and disease.

Western medicine, is primarily concerned with isolable disease categories or agents of disease, which it zeroes in on, isolates and tries to change, control, or destroy. In contrast, Chinese medicine is holistic, based on the idea that no single part of the body can be understood except in its relation to the whole. A symptom, therefore, is not traced back to a cause, but is looked at as a part of a totality. If a person has a symptom, Chinese medicine wants to know how the symptom fits into the patient's entire bodily pattern. A person who is well, or "in harmony", has no distressing symptoms and expresses mental, physical, and spiritual balance. When that person is ill, the symptom is only one part of a complete bodily imbalance that can be seen in other aspects of his or her life and behavior. Understanding that overall pattern with the symptom as part of it, is the challenge of Chinese medicine.

Ancient Chinese Herbal ToolsToday, seventy percent of Chinese people are using TCM, include acupuncture and herbal medicine as their main form of health care. In fact, people all over the world are using TCM as well, it has been used in England, France, and Germany for several hundred years, while in United States only in the past two decades have acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine been recognized. More and more people are using alternative medicine, including acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the United States today.