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Some people find that the local Chinatown is a good place to look for someone who practices traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine, also sometimes seen abbreviated as TCM, is a form of medicine which has been practiced in China for over 3,000 years, and is also widely practiced in other Asian nations as well. To treat patients, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine use several approaches, many of which have been adopted by other cultures as well. The concepts which come together to create traditional Chinese medicine are incredibly complex, but all of them include the fundamental idea that the human body needs to have a balance of energy, or it will be unhealthy. Some of the concepts integrated into the practice include the Three Jiaos theory, zang-fu, the five elements, and the concept of meridians. The Three Jiaos breaks the body up into three regions, or jiaos, starting from the upper jiao, which starts at the ribcage, and working through the middle jiao, which includes the center of the body, down to the lower jiao, which includes the intestines, kidneys, bladder, and legs. Zang-fu involves the organs: according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the organs can be divided into yin, or zang, and yang, or fu.
Although some Westerners dismiss Traditional Chinese Medicine, it has been shown to be effective for many conditions in clinical trials. Currently I have been battling a cold which just so happened to occur around the time of my finals.
In China, you’ll find a confusing mixture of modern and traditional medical practices. Though the main ideas and techniques are thousands of years old, the traditional medical practices are still important, and are even being adopted around the world. Here is information about moxibustion, fire cupping, acupuncture, qigong and tai chi, massage and acupressure, traditional herbology and medicines, medicinal cuisine, and the history and philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine. The qi is life energy, and its flow in the body depends on the environment and what happens to the body. The core idea of Chinese medicine is that people can increase or decrease the various qis in the body, and its parts, by various medical techniques, to create a healthful yin-yang balance. Each person and part of the body has an ideal point of balance of yin and yang for optimal health. Qi deficiencies in a person or a body part can be corrected by eating proper food, taking herbs and medicines, using physical manipulation such as cupping, moxibustion, acupuncture and massage, or doing meditation and physical exercise such as qigong. For example, if a woman is sick or weak from a lack of yin qi, she can eat foods high in yin qi such as melons or goji berries or various high yin herbs. Older men may want to take herbal and food remedies, such as drinking ginseng tea or eating seahorse dishes, because they are high in yang content, or get a moxibustion treatment that adds Yang to the body. If, due to injury or stress, the qi circulation gets blocked or stagnated, all the above medical techniques can be used to unblock the qi channels called meridians, or increase or decrease the qi in various locations. Qigong and tai chi practitioners think that special exercises and meditation helps the qi in the body to circulate. Acupuncture: This strange and famous medical technique involves inserting needles at precise meridian points.
Herbal Medicine:In many ways, Chinese herbal medicine is similar to Western herbal medicine, though the emphasis is on promoting the yin-yang balance.
Massage: It seems like there are massage parlors everywhere, and there are various styles that are all thought to be good for the health, some of which are more appreciated by Chinese than foreigners. Medicinal Cuisine Therapy:The emphasis in this traditional method of meal preparation, special recipes, and way of eating is to promote the yin-yang balance. Qigong:Meditation and special exercise, such as qigong and tai chi also manipulates the qi balance and the body fluids in the body. Would you like us at China Highlights to help you find traditional medical resources in various cities?
In the very earliest times, man relied on collected seeds and plants as a source of medicine, and some of the earliest records of herbal remedies date back to 5000 B.C.

Since that time, there have been many revisions of Chinese materia medica that have included accumulated knowledge of substances from China's folk medicine and those from other areas, such as Southeast Asia, India, etc.
In 1596, during the Ming Dynasty, a grand materia medica, entitled Ben Cao Gang Mu, which was compiled by Li Shizhen (1518-1593) and published three years after his death. During succeeding centuries of Imperial Era, Chinese herbal medicine continued to develop, but by the nineteenth century, Western influence had taken root in China, and mission hospitals introduced a new alternative to the old practices. Traditional Chinese Medical doctors say that Qi, (sometimes spelled Chi and pronounced "chee") or vital energy (body fluids, bloods, moving particles, etc.) is a flowing network of the essential substances that compose the human body. The theory of the Five Elements (sometimes called the five-phase theory) is also a mainstay of Traditional Chinese Medicine; the elements are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The ancient diagnostic methods (sometimes called the "Four Examinations") come into play when determining a patient's composition of the Five Elements, and although a person may be oriented towards a particular element, the Chinese believe that aspects of each of the Five Elements are present in every person at different times.
Observation means that the doctors directly scrutinize the outward appearance of the patient to understand the condition.
In the case of Palpitation, the doctor notes the pulse condition of the patient's radial artery and then discerns the inner change of symptoms.
The system of Traditional Chinese Medicine has been refined over the centuries, and the notion of "person-centered " medicine has developed with the principle of the Four Examinations and the Eight Indicators (cold and heat, deficiency and excess, interior and exterior, yin and yang) as the basis of treatment that is now highly regarded in the world of herbal medicine, but perhaps more importantly, its use has become increasingly regarded as a feasible consideration and useful complement to today's conventional Western medicine. In the West, traditional Chinese medicine is viewed as alternative or complementary medicine, but in China it is the primarily modality of medical treatment for individuals suffering from ailments that range from depression to broken bones.
Massage, acupuncture, qigong, and herbs are all techniques for balancing yin and yang in various ways. Traditional Chinese medicine views the body as an integrated whole, rather than an assortment of parts which must be treated individually, and it also includes preventative medicine which is designed to prevent the body from getting sick. According to the three jiaos theory, different parts of the body are responsible for different symptoms: asthma, for example, is linked with the upper jiao, which includes the lungs. Each organ is assigned an element and a complementary organ: for example, the bladder and kidney are water organs, with the kidney being the yang organ, and they also act on each other. Various points along the meridians can be manipulated to address specific symptoms, and ideally energy should flow smoothly and without obstructions through the meridians. Many of the fundamental concepts are logical, especially given that they were conceived long before human anatomy and physiology were well understood. Since we are complex beings, the philosophy of treating the whole being not just the symptoms is what is behind Chinese medicine. You may be confused, amused and even frightened by the traditional practices that you see and by the medical advice that you’ll receive. The balance of qi in the parts of the body depends on the flow of various kinds of qi and fluids. However, a medical practitioner should help you decide which procedure will best help to cure your condition.
They think that by practicing, they can learn to control the motion of qi, and use the qi to heal injured body parts, cure diseases, get healthier, defend themselves, and live longer. It is appropriate for women with birthing problems, older men, and cold weather-related health issues. Yin is regarded as dark and cold (the female) and is said to store and provide energy for its counterpart, Yang, which is light and hot (the male) and is said to protect from outer harm. The latest compilation of Chinese materia medica was published in 1977 as the Encyclopedia of Traditional Chinese Medicine Substances (Zhong yao da ci dian). These Taoist doctors, who produced classic medical texts, appeared to have been the first choice in medical treatments for the aristocracy.
Although TCM survived, despite the temporary setbacks incurred following the collapse of the Manchu Dynasty in 1911, it was not until the 1960s, when Mao Tse Tung founded five traditional medical colleges, that TCM entered popular modern thinking, and it remains on equal footing with biomedicine in China today. The theory asserts that everything in the universe (including the health of our bodies) is governed by these elements and focuses on the theory that the physical and mental natures of humans are completely interwoven with nature.

The practitioner asks many detailed questions (Interrogation) about the person's lifestyle (diet, occupation, symptoms, previous treatments) to settle on the elemental composition of the individual and may then prescribe the course of treatment. Since TCM maintains that the exterior and interior immediately correspond, when the inner organs are badly affected, it will be reflected through skin pallor, tongue, the facial sensory organs and the examination of some excrement.
Doctors believe that when the organic function is normal, the frequency and intensity of the pulse will be relatively stable; when it is not, the pulse will fluctuate. Francesco Cardini, found that the remedy, known as moxibustion, was successful in preventing breech births.
Fundamentally, this type of medicine is about striking a balance between yin and yang, the masculine and feminine elements, and it is believed that medical problems stem from an imbalance in these elements which must be corrected. Massage and acupuncture are both designed to stimulate the body, release blocked flows of energy, and bring about a sense of relaxation and well being. Practitioners undergo extensive training: below are included brief overviews of major concepts although they barely scratch the surface of this ancient medical tradition. Massage and acupuncture both address the meridians, along with potential causes of blockage, which can cause illness. The essential idea that the body works together as a whole is quite sensible, and most Western doctors agree that balancing energy will create healthier, stronger, happier individuals.
It is used to remove yang from the body, and it is appropriate for conditions such as bronchitis, heat stroke, and hot weather-related conditions. Ideally, perfect harmony and good health are achieved when the Yin (negative principle) and Yang  (positive principle) are in perfect balance, and many ills are believed to be caused when there is a prolonged deficiency or excess of either. The compendium includes 5,767 entries and is said to be the definitive compilation of China's herbal tradition. While both Western and Chinese medicine have been practiced in China since the late 1800s, the traditional Chinese approach to medicine only began to grow in popularity in the West since the 1970s, when ties to China reopened. In the cosmos as a whole, the "Five Elements" create and restrain one another, and in the human body, each element is processed by one of the five organ systems, and the energy associated with that organ system's activity circulates up and down the body through precisely defined (but difficult to locate) energy channels or meridians. Each of the elements is associated with a number considerations, such as a season, taste, color and sound. Qigong is a daily practice which is followed by adherents to keep their energy in balance, while herbs are available by prescription and over the counter to treat a wide range of ailments.
The five elements are wood, air, water, fire, and metal, and various problems can be traced to imbalances in these elements, which ordinarily should coexist in harmony. Practitioners can be found in most areas, especially those with a large Chinese community, and people interested in exploring Traditional Chinese Medicine can use their favorite search engine to locate a reputable practitioner in their area.
Chinese Herbal Medical practitioners to this day will try to restore that natural balance, which is said to enable the body's own healing mechanisms to go into action.
Some practitioners also incorporate traditional folk remedies into their treatments as well. Traditional treatments not only include the all-important natural herbal preparations, but also encompass acupuncture, massage, diet and gentle exercise to correct the imbalances within the body.
This philosophy represents a great contrast to Western medicine's idea of a separation between the mind and body.
TCM views each organ as having particular body and mind functions, as illustrated in the belief that the liver is involved in planning and in the storage of anger, while the gallbladder is the organ of decision-making.

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