Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient system of medicine used to treat everything from aches and pains to internal disorders such as diabetes and infertility. It is based on the wisdom of nature, and on thousands of years of intensive use and research.
Chinese medicine has the power to heal the body at its deepest level and treats the root causes of disease. Both will drastically improve your quality of life. Many people do not realize that acupuncture is not a modality that exists alone. Some people may use it this way, but it is most powerful when used in context. This context is Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is an entire system of medicine developed over thousands of years by the ancient Chinese using acupuncture,
herbs, moxibustion, massage, qi gong and other modalities to balance people's qi or vital energy. Only an extremely effective and sophisticated system would be able to withstand this kind of test of time.
We often forget as human beings that we are not above nature, but a part of it, and therefore subject to its laws. By understanding the way nature and the universe works, it is possible to understand the body, and vice versa. This is the macrocosm, microcosm theory, which says that everything at the smallest level and at the biggest level are essentially the same. The same patterns are repeated over and over.
The two main theoretical frameworks used to explain the body in Chinese medicine are five-element theory and yin-yang theory. These theories explain the laws of interaction in nature and subsequently, the body. All parts of the body, including the organs and bodily substances, fit into either the yin category or the yang category. They are also each associated with a different element. The elements are fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. These energies always interact the same way in nature as in the body. Because of this broader, more holistic view, the organs work together a little differently than in Western medicine. No imbalance or disease is seen as isolated from the rest of the body. It is an interdependent system.
Though they may seem somewhat abstract concepts, modern research is constantly finding that certain organs are responsible for more than originally thought in the Western world. In TCM, an "organ" is really an amalgamation of functions, which include obvious concrete organ functions such as the stomach's role in digestion and the lungs role in breathing. However, the Chinese have always known, for instance, that there is a connection between the intestines and sadness based on five-element theory, and now it is understood that the intestines actually produce large amounts of serotonin. It would be wise to pay attention to what we as humans have already learned!
Ancient civilizations were no less sophisticated or intelligent than we are now. Chinese medicine is in tune with the brilliance of nature. Because it is such a different paradigm, and can be difficult to understand for the Western layperson, I recommend some further reading. Two very good introductory books are, The Web That has no Weaver, and Between Heaven and Earth. However, it is obviously not necessary to understand TCM to be healed by it.