Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment involves the use of modalities include herb formulas, acupuncture, acupressure, dietary therapy and exercise such as tai chi and qi gong. Traditional Chinese herbal products can be easily purchased online. Some of the herbs used in TCM can interact with drugs, have serious side effects, or be unsafe for people with certain medical conditions. It is recommended that patients should check their doctors to avoid any undesired side effects if they are using any herbal products. Acupuncture is commonly considered safe when performed by a licensed TCM practitioner. Improperly performed acupuncture can cause potentially serious side effects. Acupressure on the other hand can be self-learned. There is no need to be expert to apply some common acupressure points.
From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, all illnesses, is the result of energy imbalance, either in the form of an excess or a deficiency of the body's elemental energy. Qi, the energy or vital life force flows through your body along pathways known as meridians and is affected by the balance of yin and yang. It regulates your spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health. Your body becomes ill if there is a blockage or imbalance in the energy flow. TCM treatment aims to restore the balance of qi energy.
Health Conditions and TCM Treatments
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History of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been around for thousands of years. Although the first recorded history of TCM dates back over two thousand years, it is believed that the origins of TCM go back more than five thousand years. According to the legends of China, there are three legendary emperors who played a significant role in history of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
First, Fu Xi (around 3000 BC) was a leader who discovered the flow between heaven and earth which he embodied in the principles of yin and yang. Yin and yang theory is the concept of two opposing but complementary forces that shape the world and all life. He also created nine needles used in treating acupuncture points. He is considered as the father of acupuncture and moxibustion. Second, Shen Nong (around 3000 BC) is considered as the founder of Chinese herbal medicine. In order to determine the nature of different herbs, Shen Nong sampled various kinds of plants, test and analyze their individual effects. Third, Huang Di (around 475-221 BC) is associated with Huang Di Nei Jing, also known as the Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor which is the earliest and most important written documentation of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It lays a primary foundation for the theories of Chinese medicine which extensively summarizes and systematizes the previous experience of treatment and theories of medicine.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has made great contribution to the health of Chinese people, and it became an independent medical system in world medical field with its special clinical effect, rational theory system and rich practice experience. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Chinese central government has put great importance to Traditional Chinese Medicine, formulating a series of guiding principles and policies to support and promote the development of TCM. TCM is now on its way to become a widely accepted healing approach worldwide. There are six TCM techniques that are commonly used in modern world.
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Traditional Chinese Medicine Education
The State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology was established in 1988. It is responsible for the national management of TCM and pharmacology, formulation of developing strategies, guiding principles, policies, laws and regulations. It is also responsible for therapy, health care and rehabilitation programs of TCM, integrated traditional and Western medicine and nationality medicine, and development of scientific techniques, as well as in comprehensive control of the equilibrium between production, supply and marketing of TCM.
Training of professionals is essential for the development of TCM. Traditional Chinese Medicine education has gradually developed into a system of training TCM professionals in undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education. The TCM higher education has been expanded in scale and its professional structure has been regulated. Students can choose to study in different majors in TCM such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese Materia Medica, acupuncture and tuina, integrated Chinese and Western medicine.
On December 6, 2016, the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China issued a white paper on the development of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China.