So I have noticed that people on this forum are more accepting of alternative therapies ,but may not know as much about it as they would like.
For that reason ,I would like to start a thread about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) ,and try to explain it better.
I also know a bit about homeopathy and western herbs ,as well as alternative modalities like cranio sacral therapy ,rolfing, ayurveda, qi gong .
To begin ,
Chinese medicine,is of course scoffed at by western medicine . That's because we can cure things simply and cheaply .
As in all things,its not always able to fix everything ,but it succeeds in ways the conventional medical community would rather keep hidden .
They plant false information ,and try to discourage the public from seeking out our expertise .
It is basically another modality of medicine . Modern medicine makes these alleged discoveries ,the Chinese knew 5000 years ago .
Yes,it is that old. Herbs are far older than acupuncture ,but both predate modern medicine by about 3000 years .
A perfect medicine would be the marriage of modern medicine and Chinese medicine ,but they only seem to be willing to do this in Asia .
I think the most basic way to start ,is with the foundation of Chinese medicine ,which is Yin and Yang.
They seem quite simple,but at the same time,can be quite complex .
They say when we are healthy ,yin and yang are in balance.
In each individual living thing ,yin and yang are connected ,and create harmony between all the body systems . Imbalances between the two cause
It's said,when we die ,its because our yin and yang have separated .
Yin is feminine,black,night time ,water ,cold,moon .
Yang is masculine,day time,fire,hot ,sun .
There are numerous implications within yin and yang ,because some diseases are caused by either excess or deficiency ,of yin or yang.
For instance ,high blood pressure is considered a hot issue,in most instances .
Things like congestive heart failure ,are more a cold issue .
Yin and yang is important in diagnosis and treatment ,especially with herbs .
Herbs can be as dangerous as any drug . There are side affects,synergies,and contraindications .
The most comprehensive listing of herbs is on Memorial Sloan Ketterings website.
They do trials and give herbs regularly to cancer patients.
They were the first to do this,and have probably done more herbal trials than any other place in the USA .
Here is their listing :
The next level in the foundations of Chinese medicine ,are the five elements .
Metal ,Water ,Wood,Fire,Earth .
Collectively they are known as Wu Xing .
Each element has yin and yang aspects .
It is said we have one yin kidney ,and one yang kidney ,despite the kidneys as a whole,being a Water organ .
Every organ ,is either yin or yang in and of itself,but they all have both yin and yang activity .
So,every organ,has yin and yang aspects,and the balance of yin and yang within each organ ,determines the health of the organ .
An example would be the heart .
The heart is a fire organ ,but there is a yin influence upon the heart ,keeping it from getting too hot .
The reason there is this influence,is because all the systems influence one another .
Every organ in the body belongs to an element .
The organs are Lungs,Large Intestines,Stomach,Spleen,Heart ,Small Intestines,Bladder,Kidneys,Triple Heater,Gall Bladder,Liver .
As you can see,the triple heater is not an organ the west is familiar with . In Chinese medicine ,is has no physical form ,but has to do with
hydration and lymphatics in the western sense .
All the organs in Chinese medicine,are not viewed as they are in western medicine . To do this is incorrect and misleading .
If I were to say ,you have a liver spleen issue,it in no way means you have disease processes going on in those two organs .
It means they are imbalanced elementally,and yin and yang are not in harmony .
For the elements,there is generation ,opposition ,and control ,within the elements.
If any one of those cycles is overactive within an organ ,it causes a problem .
When you set the elements in a circle ,it forms a pentagram .
The pentagram is actually an ancient symbol from Asia,that was adopted by pagans in the early 20th century.
It can be found on the shrines of Japanese onmiyodo from before even the ninth century .
Ommiyoji were a bit of everything,and usually worked for the Shogun or emperor .
They were herbalists,acupuncturists ,astrologers ,knew magick ,and performed exorcisms .
I believe the western four elements are adapted from the original five.
I could be wrong,but I don't think so .
Here is one example of the elemental pentagram .
To fully understand the elements ,you need to know their colors,seasons,emotions ,time of day,smell , food etc.
This helps with diagnosis . A Chinese doctor will ask you what color seems to resonate with you ,as it may give him a clue as to which organ system is
either overacting,or being acted upon by another element .
So let's use the liver for this example .
The liver is a wood organ . Wood has the following properties .
Color green ,season spring ,direction east ,taste sour,invading pathogen wind ,time of day 1-3 am,smell rancid .
Each organ ,has all of these.
When we say taste,we mean the food that should be eaten .Foods are classified into categories like bitter sweet sour salty .
When we say smell ,this means this kind of a smell,emanates from the patient.
It's usually very subtle . Only very advanced illness,makes the smells unbearable or obvious to those standing near by . I have found the homeless
often have smells like this,not necessarily from not bathing .
As for color,it may be the patients favorite color,or their skin has the slightest hint of this tone.
It's usually only seem just around the delicate tissue outside the eyes .
That's where we look for it .
I think this is enough to start .
So ,to conclude ,Yin and Yang are the foundation of life ,the five elements are within yin and yang ,and govern the metabolism of the organisms .
Yin and yang have affect on all the elements,even if those elements are fire or water .
To add an aside to this ,please do note the five colors of the five elements.
It can change from country to country ,but most usually ,its red ,green ,yellow,blue ,white . Sometimes blue is substituted for black .
When you see things,in Asian countries ,with these five colors ,they indicate the five elements are at work .
You see them on paper lanterns ,wind socks .
It's much more common in Japan ,and if you watch anime ,its been hammered into you ,without you even knowing it .
All those old cartoons like Battle Of The Planet's ,Voltron ,and even The Power Rangers, you have five characters ,who all wear a certain color ,who
in some cases,combine to form one unit to restore harmony .
Usually each character has a personality that reflects their element .
The green ranger is angered easily . The Blue ranger worries a lot
We didn't see the pink and purple rangers ,or more than five rangers ,until an American company took over producing the Power Rangers.
So you have all probably seen all of this,more times than you might imagine .
Here is some additional reading .
Some very different takes on the basics and the five elements .
I love this guys blog. The bunny totally puts it over the top for me,ans he and I agree on many points.
If people like this thread ,I will do the meridians and organs next .
edit on 05/28/2013 by PtolemyII because: (no reason
edit on 05/28/2013 by PtolemyII because: (no reason given)
edit on 05/28/2013 by PtolemyII because: (no reason