TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
Originally, it was a philosophical/metaphysical theory of ancient China that over four thousand years. Later on, it was incorporated into medical practice and became an important constituent of the theory of TCM. This theory holds that everything in the universe contains the two aspects of Yin and Yang, which are in opposition and also in unison. They are polar opposites discernable in everything, and are never absolute- the ascription of either property always depends on the relative context that each exist in. Hence, all things events. etc., have, as part of their existence a continuous tension and balance between each polarity. This tension, balance, and opposition, are exactly what impels objects in the universe to develop and to change. They represent not only two different matters in opposition but two opposite aspects in the same entity. In TCM, they are used to summarize and explain the problems in the fields of anatomy, physiology, pathology, diagnosis, treatment, etc. The words are best understood by way of qualitative example: dynamic, external, upward, ascending, brilliant, progressive, hyperactive, superficial, heat, light, open, energy, pertain to Yang. Those qualities which are static, internal, downward, descending, dull, retrogressive, hypoactive, dark wet, cold, matter, pertain to Yin.
In the past 60 years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has made great progress, such as the use of scientific methods to study the acupuncture, Tuina and herbs. Now, there are three kinds of doctors in China, such as Western medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and integration of traditional Chinese and western medicine (combine eastern and western). For the doctors who combine eastern and western are using the best of both Chinese and western medical methods. Western sciences such as anatomy, physiology, pathology and associated technologies such as cytology (cell study), radiology, and computers support Chinese native medicine, which includes acupuncture, herbology, and Tui Na (massage and manipulation methods). The doctors may use either method to guide and assist the other in treatment, diagnosis or assessment. This broad and powerful array of theories, practices, and technologies delivers more resources to the patient.
A critical component to TCM is the inclusion of the traditional Chinese belief that the body functions as a whole, and each part is intimately connected. This holistic philosophy supercedes the western, Cartesian principal of dualism, which is based on the mind and body as two separate systems. The Chinese never developed the matter–spirit dichotomy, and do not see illness as either physical or mental, as western doctors still have a tendency to do. Inherent in the TCM philosophy is knowledge that the body has the potential to cure its own diseases if “needled”, manipulated and herbally encouraged in the correct way. Chinese medicine does not divide the world into mind and matter, but instead uses yin and yang, equating illness to their imbalance. Chinese Medicine also uses the theory of the Five Elements, a complex configuration of energy (Qi) channels and a sophisticated diagnostic system which depends on the doctor’s sensory awareness and intuitive faculties as well as the emotional state of the patient. This comprehensive, nature-based, trusted system has enabled the Chinese people to readily take responsibility for their health, inspiring daily practices such as Tai Chi (Ji), Qi Gong and meditation to sustain health and well being.
Lastly, herbal medicine contributes significantly to the evolution of native Chinese medicine to improvement. Important advances include the preparation of herbs using the same technologies used to create drugs, borrowed from computer sciences, physics, cytology, chemistry, and so on. Modern research has revealed the chemistry of Chinese herbs, and continued research uncovers their pharmacodynamics. The active ingredients of the most commonly used Chinese herbs are well established, and their pharmacologic effect, including, for example, their anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-tumoral, anti-pyretic (fever reducing), diuretic, and hypotensive (blood pressure reducing) effects, has had massive medical screening. Along with the changes in herbal medicine preparation methods, new formulas are constantly being developed. The quality control practices and standards currently in place rival those of the western world.
In clinical, TCM treatments includes as Acupuncture, Herbs, Tuina, Cupping and GuaSha. The acupuncture is important method in TCM. The acupuncture points are located throughout the body and act as gateways to influence, redirect, increase or decrease the vital “substance” of Qi, thus correcting imbalances that cause disease. Thin, solid, sterile, stainless steel acupuncture needles are inserted into acupuncture points to mobilize energy (Qi) flow and invigorate the proper function of muscles, nerves, vessels, glands and organs. Most patients do not feel the needles during treatment. Many western based research programs have been conducted towards understanding the mechanism of acupuncture with impressive results. Acupuncture is quickly becoming known as a very important healing modality or many diseases. Tui Na is relatively new to the western world and combines the work of massage therapy, chiropractic and TCM. Tui Na is Oriental bodywork therapy that uses the TCM theory of the flow of Qi through the meridians as its basic therapeutic orientation. Through the application of massage and manipulation techniques Tui Na seeks to establish a more harmonious flow of Qi throughout the system of channels and collaterals, allowing the body to naturally heal itself. Tui Na encompasses three techniques 1) Massage to treat the soft tissue (muscles and tendons of the body. 2) Acupressure to affect the flow of the Qi and 3) Adjustments to realign the musculoskeletal and ligamentous relationships and spine subluxations to restore the body’s normal functions.
Categories of etiological factors in TCM:
- Six abnormal environments ( Liu Yin 六淫 ) : six excessive climate or untimely, as wind, cold, summer heat, dampness, dryness, and fire.
- Seven emotions (Qi Qing七情): overjoyed, anger, worry, anxiety, sadness, fear and fright.
- Injury: which includes acute and chronic.