Introduction to the Traditional Chinese Medicine

The crystal of 250 Million years of humanity’s wisdom!

 TCM has more than 250 million years history. This is a brief introduction to the Traditional Chinese medicine – the world’s oldest and most complete medical system no matter in theories, diagnosis and treatments. It’s also the most cost effective medicine. 

1.      The Basic Concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine

  • Our body has very strong self-healing powers. We can help it to work.
  • Our body collaborates with outside environmental changes.

 2.    What is acupuncture and moxabution?

Acupuncture is the art of using fine needles to insert under your skin which will use your own energy to heal yourself. Moxabution is using heat through ai ye’s – folium artemisiae argyii (sometimes with the other herbs) that has a strong penetration power to warm up meridians/organs to treat patients.  The flowing energy will push the blood and lymph systems’ circulation to relieve pain or enhance your organs and the meridian’s functions to regain your health and/or prevention of sickness toward longevity. In the classic book of Sun Si Miao’s “Bei Ji Qian Jin Yao Fang” (孫思邈的<備急千金藥方>) mentions the fire needle application.

 3.    What happens when needles are inserted under the skin?

Once a needle is inserted, the energy (qi formally said in Traditional Chinese Medicine) will follow a meridian’s flow. The flowing energy can bring toxins away and bring nutritions/oxygen to all cells along the meridian’s pathway to renew all of the cells. Meanwhile, it further balances our body to toward an alkaline base and homeostatic healthy status. It boosts immunity and balances endocrine secretion. In the classic Chinese Medicine books, qi has five functions:

  • driving function that drives the life needed substances moving around our body.
  • warming function that warms up our body, defending that gives us immunity power
  • defense function that defenses outside pathogenic factors of wind, cold, summer heat, dampness, dryness and fire without invading our body and causing illnesses.
  • astringent function that holds blood following inside blood vessels and all of the organs holding at their correct position.
  • vaporizing function that vaporizes water in the stomach that has been drunk in order to enter the lungs then lungs pushes the vaporized water to moisten our skin and vaporize the water in the large intestines and urinary bladder.

All of the above just briefly describes the functions of qi

4.    What is a meridian?

It’s our body internal freeway for water, nutrition, hormones, metabolized waste, neurotransmitters,….etc. Each meridian passes at least one of our body’s organs. The acupuncture points that are located on the meridians, communicating with our body’s internal and external environment. The points are both diagnosis and treatment points.

 5.    Is acupuncture painful?

Usually, patients do not feel the needles go in. They used to say: “It’s weird.” “As more and more needles go in, I only feel better and better.” Please also read Does Acupuncture Needle Hurt?

 6.    What is the Traditional Chinese Medicine?

  • Classic Traditional Chinese Medicine – Original Traditional Chinese Medicine -Tian Yi天醫: Only Dr. Ni, Hai-Sha can practice it well now.

According to Chapter 75 of Huang Di Nei Jing: 著至教論篇第七十五
上知天文,下知地理,中知人事,可以長久,以教眾庶,亦不疑殆。醫道論篇,可傳後世,可以為寶。

If one has knowledge of astronomy, geography and medicine, then, the person’s treatment results can be long lasting, expand the life span. Then the practitioner can teach and the general public will not have any doubt. The medical theory can pass to future generations and can be valued as a treasure.

Below is a brief description to show how powerful it is.

  • How to control the gender outcome before pregnancy.
  • Can treat homosexuals.
  • Fortune Telling  that can predict life span, disasters and make a change to find a optimum way to deal with misfortune in one’s life. It also can tell which organ is weak and could cause illness and therefore, can be prevented.
  • Can use it to predict which location to live in to achieve the desired life. It is called yang zai 陽宅 a layout design of the house which allocates space for the people who live there to get the best results.
  • To select a burial place for a person in order to change the decedents’ personality. The person can achieve better business outcomes for future generations. It is called feng shui風水- to find an excellent grave location that gathers the earth’s energy and the universal energy that is above the ground, in order to  benefit future generations. …..etc.

However, it’s very difficult to find a good expert for fortune telling  (For a person’s fortune telling the best one is Zi Wei Dou Shou 紫微斗數. There are other fortune telling skills that can predict a country’s fortune and another one for a single event), yang zai and feng shui. The reason is that in those fields there were not any formal education to support them for more than two thousand years in China. Therefore, it cannot find an expert from the quantity of educated people. The expert needs to be guided by one master and also needs to study, practice and think a lot, which leads to finding some rules to use. This takes great talent and ethics to achieve. Due to the masters need to protect the knowledge from unethical and irresponsible people, the master only gives the full knowledge to those superior and talented students who can grasp the knowledge well.

On another hand, traditional Chinese Medicine also included Zhu You Shu (祝由術 similar like hypnosis/hypnotherapy),using emotions, sound, light, color, food taste and relationships (五倫) to treat, such as Wang Feng Yi (王鳳儀) and Liu Shan Ren Talking relationships to treat sicknesses (劉善人說病)。Even, TCM included bone adjustments, bone injury and bone diseases (osteoporosis, bone cancer, etc.) treatments as well as modern Chinese Medicine treatments.

  • Modern Traditional Chinese Medicine:
    Broad definition
    is anything that helps us in healthier natural ways towards longevity. It usually includes:
    * Acupuncture, moxibustion
    * Herbs, herbal bath, herbal meals/tea
    * Qi gong (include taiji) or exercises * diet (organic natural food without   processed)
    * Tui-na (broader than massage)
    * Gusha (scraping)
    * Cupping, bleeding
    * Life style
    * Mediation and moral cultivation (less material desire, more open mind thinking, deep sense of knowing), etc.

Confiding definition is confining the treatments to acupuncture and raw herbs, herbal formula in the form of decoction ( It is the juice from the whole raw herbs after cooking. Some people call it tea.), capsules, pills, tablets and tincture or patent formula.

  • The different Schools in modern Chinese Medicine Practice:
    There are northern and southern schools.
  • The northern one follows the classic books of Huang Di Nei Jing, Shen Long Ben Cao Jing, San Han Lun and Jin Kui Yao Luo as a guideline. Those books were written earlier than the southern ones. It’s closer to the Classic Traditional Chinese Medicine. That can stand alone and treat more difficult illnesses such as: Austim, AIDS, ADHD,( see ghost at day time or night time), LUPUS, LIME,… etc.  Plus cancer cases were successfully treated and there are numerous records that go back for at least two thousand years.
  • Yet, the southern school follows the classic book of Huang Di Nei Jing, Ben Cao Gang Mu, San Han Lun and Wen Bing Tiao Bian. They usually do not treat the above mentioned illness nor rarely treat them.
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine is an art
    • Although there are different schools, many illnesses can be treated well by either school.
    • If use the top of a mountain as an example for a healthy person stage and the bottom of the mountain as an example for an ill person. There are many paths to climb up. Each time someone falls, each practitioner might bring them back up a different way.  There are so many ways to fall down i.e. different things to cause a person to lose their health.
    • If a person climbs back to the top of the mountain, after falling, they might experience a reverse process for their illness. This means that he/she will experience symptoms that were there before.
    • If someone is brought back to a healthy state by a different route, they might experience different bodily changes as before.

7.    No matter how, it treats both of the symptoms and the  root problems and reinstates your body’s functions. If you are healthy, you feel comfortable  in your body and your mood.

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© 2011 Frieda Mah, L.Ac.



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