Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a comprehensive medical system that is used to diagnose and treat illness , prevent disease and improve well-being. It is effective for both physical and psychological problems. It is a misconception that TCM is only used for treating preventively, but TCM also very effectively treats disease, syndromes and symptoms surrounding difficult to cure diseases.
Chinese medicine uses the body’s energetic framework to balance the flow of Qi (vital energy, pronounced chee) in the body. If Qi is deficient, excess, stagnant or scattered, disease often follows. The subtlety of the medicine often allows it to prevent a trend towards illness while remaining a powerful tool against disease .
Unfortunately, lack of awareness about TCM means we still have a long way to go to. However more and more people are now recognizing that there are alternative safer ways to deal with many refractory diseases. With the invent of the internet and faster communication methods people are becoming more aware of other cultures.
The origin of the Chinese herbal tradition is said to stem from the legendary emperor Sheng Nong who lived around 3500 BC. The tradition has three important features.
The first is that the therapeutic actions of all formulas and individual herbs are described in terms of the theory of Chinese medicine. This means that a diagnosis, phrased in the language of Chinese medicine, already points to various formulas or individual herbs.
The second is that the practitioner usually prescribes formulas rather than individual herbs. Formulas are groups of herbs working together synergistically. A group of herbs is usually safer and better adapted to deal with a complicated clinical condition.
The third is that the long tradition ensures both the effectiveness and safety of prescriptions given by trained practitioners.
Together these three characteristics give the practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine a deep understanding of the patient’s health problems and a safe effective method for treating many ailments, both physical and mental.