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Learning About Medicine In China

Nov 25, 2007
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a system of healing from China. While TCM is regarded as an alternative medicine system in the West, in China and other Asian countries, it is practiced widely by the locals. Medical practitioners are trained in the diagnostic and healing techniques with centuries of tradition and philosophy. Like naturopathy, TCM is holistic. It considers all aspects of the person including physical, nutritional, emotional, mental and spiritual for diagnosis. TCM is based on the balance of opposing elements (the yin and yang) in the body, as well as their harmony with the environment around it. The two main forces of yin and yang combine to form the "qi" (pronounced as "chee") or universal life force. When qi is in harmony, health is not only enhanced but also the capacity for fufilment, happiness and well being. Disease and illness arise from imbalances of yin and yang that block the proper flow of qi. Therapies to treat disease are aimed at restoring the balance and unblocking the flow to restore health.

TCM is primarily non-invasive. TCM treatments include the use of Chinese herbs, acupuncture, meditation, Chinese massage therapy, mental and physical disciplines such as Tai Chi and Qigong and nutritional therapy. Practitioners will attempt to realign the body's balance using a combination of treatments before suggesting surgery by a Western Doctor. Medicine in China is very different than anywhere else in the world, and the basic premise to medicine in China is that natural, alternative methods of treatment are better than more conservative methods, such as prescription medications which are more popular in Western medicine.

Chinese medicine is truly one of the greatest herbal systems in the world, and throughout its history it has continually developed in response to changing clinical conditions. It features a very systematic approach and clinical effectiveness and medicine in China includes all oriental traditions emerging from Southeast Asia that have their origins in China. Chinese herbal medicine is based on the concept of Yin and Yang and is successfully used for a wide range of conditions. In Chinese medicine, health is represented as a balance and rather than just aiming to control or relieve the symptoms of the illness, the point is to look at the patient as a whole and determine the cause of the illness or disease.

This is a much more practical approach to medicine because it looks to improve the patient's well-being long term, rather than just eliminating the problem at hand. Medicine in China implements a number of different systems, and one of the most performed procedures in Chinese medicine is acupuncture. Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles through the skin at specific points on the body in order to relieve pain and other symptoms. It is thought to decrease pain by increasing the release of chemicals that block pain. Acupuncture can help with a variety of conditions but in particular is used to treat chronic pain such as headaches, menstrual cramps, low back, and muscle pain.

There are many other systems involved in Chinese medicine as well and which are quickly becoming incredibly popular around the world, particularly in the West where more people are realizing the advantages that more natural methods of treatment have to offer and turning from more conservative, conventional methods to these. If you are interested in using medicine in China yourself you will first want to make yourself more educated and informed on the matter. You should also speak to your doctor to make sure that you are not putting yourself at any risk. Even better would be if you spoke to an herbalist who will be educated specifically in this area. Although herbs are natural and typically completely safe to use, they are still a form of medicine and so you still need to exercise caution when using them.
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