the balance of body, mind, and spirit

TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE

Definitions

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) offers a perspective on the nature of illness and health that is uniquely different from, and is complementary to, Western Medicine. 

In TCM, human beings are considered to be deeply connected with all the phenomena of nature; formed from, and nourished by nature’s essential elements, influenced by its rhythms, and subject to its laws of growth and change.

Health can be defined as a harmonious relationship between one’s own internal condition and one’s external environment; there must be a balance between one’s body/mind/spirit and one’’ relationship with nature. 

– The College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Newfoundland & Labrador

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a system of medicine partly based on the idea that an energy, called qi (say “chee”), flows along pathways—called meridians—in the body. In this belief, if the flow of qi along these meridians is blocked or unbalanced, illness can occur

In China, doctors have practiced Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years, and it is continuing to gain popularity in many Western countries. Causes of qi imbalance are thought to involve:

  • External forces, such as wind, cold, or heat.
  • Internal forces, such as emotions of joy, anger, or fear.
  • Lifestyle factors, such as poor diet, too little sleep, or too much alcohol.

Another important concept in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the concept of yin and yang. In this approach, all things, including the body, are composed of opposing forces called yin and yang. Health is said to depend on the balance of these forces. Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses on maintaining the yin-yang balance to maintain health and prevent illness. Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors look at the balance of body, mind, and spirit to determine how to restore qi, the yin-yang balance, and good health.

Some people use traditional Chinese medicine to treat problems such as asthma, allergies, and infertility. Traditional Chinese medicine doctors may use several types of treatment to restore qi balance.

Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies include:

  • Acupuncture, which uses thin metal needles placed along the body’s meridians.
  • Acupressure, which uses the hands or fingers to apply direct pressure to points along the body’s meridians.
  • Chinese herbs, combinations of herbs, roots, powders, or animal substances to help restore balance in the body.
  • Cupping, which uses warm air in glass jars to create suction placed on areas of the body to help stimulate qi.
  • Diet. Yin and yang foods can help restore the yin-yang balance in the body.
  • Massage (Tui Na) on specific areas of the body or along the body’s meridians.
  • Moxibustion, which uses small amounts of heated plant fibre (moxa, or Chinese mugwort) on specific areas of the body.
  • Qi Gong, which uses movement, breathing techniques, and meditation.

– HealthLink BC

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Traditional Chinese medicine therapies include:

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