Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a long history of over 4,000 years. For centuries, millions of people in China have relied on TCM for their health and treatments.
What is TCM
TCM joins the power of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and energetic exercises to correct imbalances found in the body. This not only allows the body to heal itself but also helps to prevent other illness. TCM has been used to treat various ailments, from acne, cellulite, dandruff, gout, insomnia, menopause, weight loss and wrinkle to other more serious health conditions such as arthritis, cancer, cholesterol, depression, diabetes and heart diseases.
Ying and Yang
Chinese believe that the imbalances of organ energies (or Qi) may cause disease that affects the health. The TCM approach is fundamentally different from that of modern Western medicine. In TCM, the understanding of the human body is based on the holistic understanding of the universe as described in Daoism, and the treatment of illness is based primarily on the diagnosis and differentiation of syndromes. The goal of TCM treatment is to adjust and harmonize Yin and Yang - wet and dry, cold and heat, body and mind. This is accomplished by regulating the Qi, Moisture and Blood in the Organ networks. Weak organs are strengthened. Congested channels are opened to flow, heat is cooled, cold is warmed, tightness is softened, agitation is calmed and dryness is moistened.
Advantages of TCM
Western medicine has approached health and a well being from a very different angle and viewpoint. It is reactive, rather than proactive. Science and symptoms is the main drivers. Western medicine examines and dissects to determine the conditions of the body and attempts to introduce external, often synthetic drugs to restore health. TCM on the other hand, focus on why the body is not functioning properly and attempts to use individualized organic herbal formula to rejuvenate and to restore the body to its natural state. Modern drugs may cause side effects in the long term and creating another disease while treating the other.
Disadvantages of TCM
One of the shortcomings of TCM is the lack of research in the area of toxins and heavy metals. This is because TCM was established centuries ago when the world was not polluted by industrial waste or toxic chemicals. The lack of standardization in Chinese herbs and the possibility of toxicity present some of the major disadvantages in dealing with traditional Chinese herbs. Numerous cases of potentially toxic levels of arsenic and mercury in Chinese traditional medicines have been reported. It is advisable to purchase traditional Chinese medicine from reputable sources and those which has met FDA guidelines or strict local health certifications.
By Paul Hata