ChineseMedicine


Chinese medicine is mostly comprised of herbal medicine, acupuncture and bodywork such as massage and stretching. There are other facets of Chinese medicine such as diet, exercise therapy, and traditionally, even dance.

Chinese medicine dates back to prehistory - the further we go back the less records survive, but we can safely say Chinese medicine dates back at least 2,500 years. Books from this era discuss acupuncture, herbal medicines and refer to how ‘the ancients’ lived according to natural laws to preserve their health & longevity.

A great deal of Chinese medicines focus is about maintaining wellness through lifestyle and inner development rather than merely treating illness once we’ve become unwell.

What I love most about Chinese medicine however isn’t just its age and enduring history as the rich and vital influence of Chinese philosophy & spirituality, that’s been the central influence guiding and nourishing its development. Daoism is the primary influence here though the effect of Confucianism and Buddhism is also significant. Chinese medicine owes a great deal to these influences, among them a holistic or complete view of the nature of the human being was derived.

For example, in the west our medical system identifies disease as arising from physical causes such as bacterial, viral, parasitic, genetic or physically traumatic causes. Treatment of these diseases is via physical interventions. Even our attempts to deal with nonphysical illness - mental & emotional afflictions, are seen as having physical origins and treatment delivered mostly via physical means.

It’s the theory of Qi, it’s circulation through the body, and it’s interconnectedness with all of Nature that makes Chinese medicine so different and, difficult for the western mind to grasp.

The answer lies in the now controversial subject of Qi.

Chinese medicine dates back to prehistory - the further we go back the less records survive, but we can safely say Chinese medicine dates back at least 2,500 years. Books from this era discuss acupuncture, herbal medicines and refer to how ‘the ancients’ lived according to natural laws to preserve their health & longevity.

A brief look at the recent history of acupunctures migration to the west (there was an earlier transmission to Europe via missionaries and traders in the 16th century) occurred in the latter 60’s after President Nixon’s visit to China. The Chinese physicians told us of Jing Luo - meridians or channels running through the body within which Qi & Xue – life energy and blood circulated. The Jing Luo supply the entire body with Qi and Qi has the role of animating the many tissues and organs of the body. Simply stated - where too much Qi accumulates, hyper function ensues, a where a lack of Qi exists hypo activity occurs.

There is much, much more to Chinese medicine though, as an old saying goes “It takes a lifetime to maser acupuncture and two lifetimes to master herbal medicine”.