Practitioners of Chinese medicine believe that the concepts of Yin and Yang and Chi or Qi, are the basic energies of the universe and of the human body, as well. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas are used to make sure that the Yin and Ying of the body is well balanced and the flow of Chi throughout the body is vibrant and smooth.
Chinese Medicine Philosophy
Dating back at least 2,500 years, Chinese medicine, specifically acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in Bellingham has been used by the people of China to treat a wide variety of conditions. Both these approaches have been recognized as effective in the treatment of a lot of modern illnesses. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have garnered wide approval as a valid alternative to Western medications for several types of conditions.
People in the West are still mystified as to how Chinese medicine actually works. Knowing this Oriental medical system well will make it simple for you to integrate it into your life to help you attain optimal health. Chi is one of the most fundamental concepts of Chinese medicine. It literally means vital energy (life energy). In ayurvedic medicine, Chi is known as “Prana.” If the flow of Chi becomes blocked or weakens, disease or imbalances develop.
Yin and Yang is another Chinese medicine primordial philosophical concept and fundamental element. These two opposing forces complement each other to generate life and health. They also are the two fundamental energies of the universe. Yin represents the negative aspect of the universe. It also represents the lunar energy, female, internal, fluid, and cooling energy. Yang is the solar, male, external, sharp, and heating energy.
More About Chi
Each of our internal organs has Chi. This energy is required in order for us to become strong and enjoy overall well-being. Disease develops if our Chi becomes weak due to overwork, pathogens, stress, or a poor diet.
TCM or Traditional Chinese medicine offers medical treatments such as acupuncture and herbs, and several exercises (such as Qi gong and Tai chi) to strengthen your Chi.
One of the most common Chinese patterns diagnosed In Western society is Stagnation of Liver Chi or simply put, stress. The liver, according to Chinese medicine, is the organ system that controls free Chi circulation; when this flow stagnates, which is usually caused by stress, the liver is always involved.
Our physical and emotional bodies contract under stress and Chi circulation goes from smooth to stagnant. We become agitated or nervous when our internal energy is stuck this way.
After you have exercised, have you noticed how much better you feel, both emotionally and physically? Stress can be relieved by anything that helps move Chi once more. One of the best movers of Chi is acupuncture.
In Western society, it is interesting that alcohol is one of the first things people use to relieve stress. Alcohol does help alleviate Chi stagnation temporarily. However, it is toxic and actually results in more Chi stagnation over time.
Chi stagnation also leads to pain, and when stress is high, it is common to see people suffering from pain and tightness in their necks when they’re under severe stress.
The Basics of Yin and Yang
Everything in the universe can be viewed as having both Yin and Yang present within itself. The body is just a microcosm of this reality
As the sun rises in the sky, it awakens the Yang digestive fire inside us. We then become awake and alert because of the Yang energy that predominates during the day.
Yin rules at night allowing us to rest and rejuvenate.
Yin nature is reflected in the physical nurturing nature of a mother to her newborn child. The Yang nature inherent in a father is reflected in his dedication and strength to protect and support his family. When Yin and Yang is in balance, good health results; conversely, ill health or disease reigns when there is an excess or deficiency in the balance of these two forces.
A Yang deficiency may result in lack of appetite, pale skin, and chill while Excess Yang may cause skin rashes, ulcers, or fever.
The goal of acupuncture and Chinese herbs is to tonify any deficiencies and sedate any excesses in the internal physiology that may be the reason for the illness’s symptoms.
Chinese Five Elements
Like Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine sees the universe as made up of five elements: Water, Metal, Earth, Fire, and Wood. These five elements are interrelated and interact in many ways. There is a specific element that corresponds to each of the major internal organs, and treatments for illnesses are determined based on the elements involved.
An individual’s predominant element can be determined through various modes of diagnosis which identifies the patient’s health tendencies, body type, and personality. An imbalance of one or more elements can be diagnosed if the patient suffers from a certain disease.
The best known type of Chinese medicine n the West, by far is acupuncture. Western science has been trying to find out how and why acupuncture works, but still hasn’t made any breakthrough discoveries. There are 12 major energetic channels or meridians in Chinese medicine. They lie like a road map on the body’s surface.
There are hundreds of acupoints or wells of energy along these meridians with each acupoint having its own specific effect and function. Heat, massage, or needles can stimulate these points helping restore the body into a more balanced state. Acupuncture relieves pain and boosts health by clearing any blockages to the flow of Chi.
For those interested in optimal health and natural medicine, it is very useful to understand the basic fundamental philosophy behind Chinese medicine. By understanding that the human body reflects and contains the natural energies of the universe, we all can live a life that’s in harmony with the environment.