Traditional Chinese medicine has contributed much to the field of holistic health medicine. Chinese medicine considers the human body with great respect, citing its infinite capacity to rejuvenate and to recover. The symptoms of a disease are considered as messages from the body. Evaluating signs and symptoms, practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine can easily tell the root cause of a disease. Their first priority is to harmonize one’s body, mind, and spirit. Secondly, practitioners aim to prevent disease, in order to improve quality of life and durability of body.
In preventing illness, Traditional Chinese Medicine applies the Yin Yang theory of balance. Yin and Yang, according to Chinese philosophy, are two cosmic forces in the universe. Yang (the sun) is the male force that represents movement and heat. Yin (the moon) is the female force that is receptive and cold in nature. The Yin-Yang symbol denotes the harmony between them and, thus, equilibrium in the universe. These two forces, practitioners believe, influence the human body to the point that recovery and good health can only be attained when these two forces are balanced. Many Chinese practitioners can identify Yin and Yang effects in the body during diagnosis. Accordingly, Chinese herbs are differentiated into categories of Yin or Yang by ratio. Their qualities can be modified according to the amount of dosage. That is, depending on the type and severity of the disease, yin and yang doses may be adjusted. In addition, there are different methods of preparation, like cooking or steaming, for different parts of a plant. Traditional Chinese medicines include acupuncture, massage, herbs, and nutrition.
Chinese practitioners operate from the premise that the human body is made up some basic substances, which coordinate with each other in creating the whole being. These basic substances are:
Xue or Blood
The belief is that blood houses Shen or spirit, and helps in developing stable thought processes. Qi (air) and Xue (blood) are mutually dependent. Xue carries Qi throughout the body. Deficiency in Xue results in dry skin, pale complexion, and dizziness.
Qi or air
Qi or air offers the most primary energy in all living organisms. Energy is created by the digestion of food, liquids, and air. Deficiency or lack of Qi can make the human being more prone to various diseases.
Jin Ye or body fluids
Some of the functional secretions of the body are: saliva, sweat, milk, and mucous, etc. Jin (the lighter fluids) moisten and nourish the muscles and skin. Ye (the denser fluids) are made in the stomach and spleen and serve to nourish and moisten the internal organs.
Shen or spirit
Shen is the emotional aspect of human beings, controlling a person’s attitudes and emotional health.
Despite the existence of modern sciences like biotechnology, many Chinese people today still rely on Traditional Chinese Medicine.