WHAT IS TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient medical system which originated in China thousands of years ago. While various forms of folk medicine have been practiced in China since pre-recorded human history, early evidence of a system of TCM as practiced today, dates back from ca. 6000 BC.
TCM is heavily influenced by Taoism, a philosophy based on harmony and natural order. The basic principle of TCM is based on balance and harmony: when we are in harmony with ourselves, with our community, and with our highest selves, we experience the greatest health and wellbeing. A seasoned TCM practitioner locates these disharmonies within the patient, and aids him/her to find inner and outer balance.
The main treatment modalities in TCM are Acupuncture, Herbal medicine, Massage therapy, Moxibustion and Cupping.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE YIN AND YANG SYMBOL?
The Yin and Yang symbol represents harmony. Yin refers to the feminine principle of solidity, inward movement and nourishment, while Yang refers to the male principle of action, outward movement, and metabolism, to name just a few.
When all these opposing and life-sustaining energies are harmonized, health flourishes. An easy way to understand Yin and Yang is by example of a car engine. The fuel is the Yang element, necessary for combustion and movement, while the Yin is the Oil, which lubricates the engine and prevents it from overheating.
A similar balance needs to be reached within human beings. Too much activity for instance with too little rest, will lead to burnout. Likewise, too much rest and too little activity will lead to sluggishness. Of course, humans are complex beings with a myriad of physiological, psychological and social systems working together, but in TCM, we aim at continually returning to the most basic principle of yin and yang, honoring its simplicity and elegance and its power to illuminate even the most complicated medical issues, such as autoimmune disease and chronic pain.
WHAT IS QI?
Qi is a most subtle energy, often called lifeforce, which flows in meridians located in the human body. It is responsible for nourishing all tissues, aiding in movement, digestion and elimination and all other physiological and mental processes needed to support life and cognition.
A basic principle in TCM states that “when Qi is stagnant there is pain, and when Qi flows freely, there is no pain” (TCM Proverb). Pain can be physiological, in the form of a stomach ache or menstrual cramps and pain can also be mental/emotional, in the form of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
Acupuncture is very effective in unblocking Qi in the body and aiding in the cure of physical and emotional challenges, by rebalancing the body’s most basic energetic system.