Chinese medicine is rooted in the ancient philosophy of Taoism that dates back several thousand years and embraces a perspective that views the human being as an energetic system in which the mind, body and spirit are unified, each influencing and balancing the other. This emphasis on a holistic approach of wellness treats the whole person, unlike conventional medicine which isolates and separates a disease from a person and focuses on pathology rather than health. Chinese medicine begins with an understanding of creating a strong foundation of health in order to prevent illness.
Taoist Influence on Chinese medicine
Prevent trouble before it arises.
Put things in order before they exist.
The giant pine tree grows from a tiny sprout.
The journey of a thousand miles starts from beneath your feet.
~ Tao Te Ching by Lao-tzu, translation by Stephen Mitchell, Chapter 64
As a complete medical system, Chinese medicine treats a full range of conditions, acute and chronic, traumatic, infectious, and internally generated imbalances. Billions of people from around the world have found Chinese medicine to be an effective method of healing that restores and maintains optimal health, preventing illness and enhancing the well-being of body, mind and spirit, holistically as nature intended. This approach often takes time, inviting the patient to fully participate with their practitioner on their healing journey, and often requires a relearning what a life of optimal health and wellness truly is.
Chinese Medicine Therapeutic Practices
Chinese medicine encompasses many different therapeutic practices, including acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion (burning an herb above the skin to apply heat to acupuncture points), Chinese herbal medicine, tui na (Chinese therapeutic massage), dietary therapy, and tai chi and qi gong (practices that combine specific movements or postures, coordinated breathing, and mental focus).
Traditional systems of medicine also exist in other East and South Asian countries, including Japan (where the traditional herbal medicine is called Kampo) Tibet, and Korea. Some of these systems have been influenced by Chinese medicine and are similar to it in some ways, but each has developed distinctive features of their own.
The Ten Virtues of Tea
Take tea to dispel melancholy, banish sleep, increase vitality, expel disease, initiate decorum and humanity, express respect, cultivate sophistication, nurture the body, harmonize with the Tao, and regulate desire.
~ Liu Zhenliang of the Tang dynasty (618-790 CE)