Radical Cure Article

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese medicine, also known as TCM, includes a range of occult beliefs and traditional medicine practices originating in China. It typically excludes science based medicine, and is based on occult beliefs about the body that are not consistent with established sciences. Although a common part of medical care throughout East Asia, it is considered an alternative medical system in much of the Western world.


TCM therapy largely consists of Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, dietary therapy, and tui na massage. The health promoting aspects of qigong and taijiquan are also closely associated with it. Main aspects of TCM's concept of the human body, health, and disease, are yin and yang, the Five Elements , the zàng-fú organs, qì, xuě ( "blood"), meridians and the liù yín ( lit. "six excesses", usually translated with Six Exogenous Pathogenic Factors).


Modern TCM was systematized in the 1950s under the People's Republic of China and Mao Zedong. Prior to this, Chinese medicine was mainly practiced within family lineage systems. The term "Classical Chinese medicine" (CCM) usually refers to these medical practices that rely on theories and methods dating from before the fall of the Qing Dynasty (1911).

 

TCM posits that illness is caused by external and/or internal factors which disrupt the body's natural processes.


There are significant regional and philosophical differences between practitioners and schools which in turn have led to differences in practice and theory.
Chinese herbal medicine is one of the methods of treatment. In China, herbal medicine is considered as the primary therapeutic modality of internal medicine. Of the approximately 500 Chinese medicinal herbs, 250 or so are commonly used. Rather than being prescribed individually, herbs are formulated to adapt to the specific needs of individual patients. A herbal formula can contain 3 to 25 herbs. As with diet therapy, each herb has one or more of the five flavors/functions and one of five "temperatures" ("Qi") (hot, warm, neutral, cool, cold). After the herbalist determines the energetic temperature and functional state of the patient's body, he or she prescribes a mixture of herbs tailored to balance disharmony. One classic example of Chinese herbal medicine is the use of various mushrooms such as reishiand shiitake, which are currently under intense study by ethnobotanists and medical researchers for immune system enhancement. Unlike Western herbalism, Chineseherbal medicine uses many animal, mineral and mineraloid remedies, and also uses more products from marine sources.

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