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Chinese medicine

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Author: Geogina Bolts

Herbal formulas are usually given as teas, which differ according to the patient. Herbs used in Chinese medicine are derived from plant, animal, and mineral substances. Although plant-derived herbs, such as ginseng and ginger, are the most common, minerals and animal parts such as oyster shells, deer antlers, and bear gall bladder are also prescribed. Herbology is traditionally one of the more important modalities utilized in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Each herbal medicine prescription is a cocktail of many herbs tailored to the individual patient.

Chinese medicine is a collection of ancient but continuously evolving healing techniques designed to treat an individual holistically. It aims both to redress underlying imbalances that cause ill health and to tackle particular symptoms. Chinese Medicine is actually a part of what is called Oriental Medicine, because there are many different styles practiced, with the same origins and medical foundation, in China, Japan, Korea and other Asian countries. This medicine spread to America and Europe as practitioners migrated and settled in different countries. Chinese medicine is very much based on the observed and uttered symptoms.

Chinese medicine is a treasure of the Chinese people, who not only have been benefiting from its well-known clinical effectiveness but also have been inspired by its ancient wisdom. With a natural and holistic approach, in addition to disease treatment, Chinese medicine does care about a person's well-being. Chinese Medicine is a system of healing based upon the Chinese understanding of the correspondence between nature (Tao) and human beings. This course introduces the theories of Chinese Medicine including the principles of Yin and Yang, macrocosm and microcosm, Qi, diagnostics and their application to practice. Chinese medicine is a complete system of medicine with its own forms of diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and therapies. Chinese medicine views the body as an energetic system in dynamic balance.

Chinese medicine is better suited for chronic degenerative conditions than for acute life threatening illnesses. Obviously, western medicine provides the best acute trauma care available. Chinese medicine is a system of medicine partly based on the idea that an energy, called qi (pronounced "chee"), flows along pathways in the body called meridians. In this belief, if the flow of qi along these meridians is blocked or unbalanced, illness can occur. Chinese medicine is based on a uniquely different philosophy and the approach is not deductive, but individualized treatment is an essential requirement. The symptom/syndrome descriptions and interpretation are different from modern western medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine also includes a unique system of theories that directs the proper use of Chinese herbs. Chinese people have solely relied on Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years for their health, much the same as the Western herbal medicine did for the Europeans before the modern medicine was born from it. Traditional Chinese Medicine associates hyperplasia of the prostate with damp heat and kidney deficiency. After the age of 40, men's vital energy in the kidney system decreases, resulting in a disturbance of the sex hormones. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) includes diagnostics and pharmacology, and use of herbs should be tailored to the individual patient. Folk medicine, on the other hand, is a compilation of formulae used by the general public to treat certain conditions without reference to a complete system of medicine.


   
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