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What's TCM

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a complete medical system that has diagnosed, treated, and prevented illness for over twenty-three centuries. While it can remedy ailments and alter states of mind, Chinese medicine can also enhance recuperative power, immunity, and the capacity for pleasure, work, and creativity.

Largely TCM is based on ancient Chinese philosophical concept that all of creation is born from the marriage of two polar principles, the Yin and the Yang: Earth and Heaven, winter and summer, night and day, cold and hot, wet and dry, inner and outer, body and mind. Harmony of this union means health, good weather, and good fortune, while disharmony leads to disease, disaster, and bad luck. TCM believes that human body itself is like a small universe, with a set of complete and sophisticated interconnected system, and that system usually work in balance to maintain the health of the human body. When an internal imbalance occurs, external agent will invade the body and cause diseases. The strategy of Traditional Chinese Medicine is to look for signs of imbalance in the internal and external environment of a person in order to understand, treat and prevent illnesses and diseases, to restore harmony.

Many of the concepts emphasized in traditional Chinese medicine have no true counterpart in Western medicine. One of these concepts is qi (气)which is considered a vital force or energy responsible for controlling the workings of the human mind and body. Qi flows through the body via channels, or pathways, which are called meridians. Unlike the Western anatomical model which divides the physical body into parts, the Chinese model is more concerned with function. Thus, the TCM Spleen is not a specific piece of flesh, but an aspect of function related to transformation and transportation within the body, and of the mental functions of thinking and studying.

Traditional Chinese diagnostics are based on overall observation of human symptoms rather than "micro" level laboratory tests. There are four types of TCM diagnostic methods: observe (望 wàng), hear and smell (聞 wén), ask about background (問 wèn) and read the pulse (切 qiè).

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