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Traditional Chinese Medicine
Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine
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China Information - Traditional Chinese Medicine

raditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology

A rich treasure house created by ancient Chinese people in their long years of struggle against disease, traditional Chinese medicine and
pharmacology has formed an independent school within the healing arts. It has made outstanding achievements over its 2,000-year history and it
has improved continuously to remain widely practiced today.

Traditional Chinese medicine and pharmacology incorporates the yin (negative) and yang (positive) theory and the theory of the five elements
(metal, wood, water, fire and earth), both containing primitive dialectical ideas of ancient China. The former theory holds that everything has a yin
and a yang side and that the struggle and interaction between the two sides is the source of the ceaseless emergence and change of all things
in the universe. The latter theory believes that things in the universe are composed of the five indispensable elements of daily life, which mov
e and change constantly to promote and restrain each other.

Beyond theory, the physiological and pathological branches of traditional Chinese medicine focus on the internal organ, main and collateral
"channels", "vital energy" ("qi") and blood, excretions and discharges. Diagnoses are made within a complete observation system in which the
nature of a patient's disease is determined by the "four methods of diagnosis" --- observing the overall way the patient looks, listening to the voice
and observing and odor, asking questions, and feeling the patient's pulse. Treatment then proceeds to balance the "eight principal syndromes" --
- yin and yang, exterior and interior, cold and heat, underactivity and overactivity.

The particular approaches of traditional Chinese medicine and pharmacology have made important contributions to health protection and the
development of medicine and pharmacology. Acupuncture and moxibustion treatment, for example, is a unique Chinese method remarkably
effective in curing many kinds of ailments.

Acupuncture and Moxibustion

Acupuncture and moxibustion are two distinct therapeutic approaches to curing a variety of ailments. Acupuncture treats diseases by puncturing
points of the body with different types of needles. Moxibustion applies heat produced by ignited moxawood (a small, spongy herb) over certain
points in the body. Although different equipment and materials are used, the therapeutic and preventive results are similar. Both promote the
circulation of qi and blood in the channels by stimulating the key points and channels of the body. Acupuncture and moxibustion are frequently
used together to treat ailments ranking from internal problems to gynecological and pediatric diseases including ailments of the eyes, lips, nose
and tongue. The results are often quick with little or no side effects.

The locations where needles are inserted or where heat is applied are known as point. By focusing on specific points, different effects or
reactions can be produced in corresponding parts of the body, which led to the theory of channels and collaterals. The vertically distributed "trunk
lines" were described by physicians in ancient times as "channels" while the large and small branches of these "channels" were referred to as
"collaterals". Together a network can be defined as consisting of 12 channels, 15 collaterals and 8 extraordinary channels. This network spreads
through the body and links various points of the body.

For thousands of years, acupuncture and moxibustion therapies have been popular as methods of preventing and treating disease. They have
served as important components of Chinese medicine.


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