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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) What is it ?

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posted on Jun, 4 2013 @ 06:44 PM
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 illness.
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 given)

edit on 05/28/2013 by PtolemyII because: (no reason given)

edit on 05/28/2013 by PtolemyII because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 4 2013 @ 06:46 PM
I cannot seem to get the images to show ....sorry !

posted on Jun, 4 2013 @ 06:54 PM

i have been utilizing Traditional Chinese Medicine, Herbs, Acupuncture for years, likewise have practiced Tai Chi and Qi Gong

a much needed topic, well appreciated

posted on Jun, 4 2013 @ 07:02 PM
reply to post by Darth_Prime

Are you in the USA Darth ? I find they accept it much more readily in EU

posted on Jun, 4 2013 @ 07:18 PM
Indeed, i've found it's not as readily accepted as anything more than novelty here, though there are bits and places that accept it's practice

here in Southern California it almost seems trendy, but they don't really 'Believe' in it if that makes much sense

posted on Jun, 4 2013 @ 07:25 PM
Awesome thread! I'm going to bookmark your links. Thanks so much!

posted on Jun, 4 2013 @ 07:50 PM
reply to post by Darth_Prime

Ahhh,something I bet you didn't know ...

California is the hardest state to get your license .They have more acupuncturists than any other state .
Or at least they did . So they make it a bit difficult to get your license .
It's a bit easier nos,because there are satellite school now ,but when I was in school,and before (1995-98),you could only practice in California ,if they had attended a school IN California .
Most states have reciprosity .
So say I got my license in New York ,and I have both a national and state license .
I should,with my national license ,go practice in another state ,once completely their clinical requirements .

California ,won't give anyone a license to practice acupuncture or Chinese herbs ,unless you've attended a California school .
They were very strict about it being a school on California land . Now,Pacific college has school outside or California . If you attend one,you can get a California license if you relocate there.

It is probably the hardest allied health license to keep .
It's the most expensive ,the most continuing medical education ,and its still not even recognised in some states .

I'm not sure of southern california ,but i know practitioners in the north who are very serious about it .
I personally ,couldnt do it,if I didnt believe in its efficacy.

posted on Jun, 4 2013 @ 08:31 PM
reply to post by PtolemyII
My family doctor is Chinese and he recommends particular herb mixtures along with acupuncture to many of his cancer patients. When my mother inlaw was still with us I took her to her visits with the acupuncture guy recommended by the doctor. It helped her tremendously with her pain and tension.

posted on Jun, 4 2013 @ 08:51 PM
reply to post by littled16

I love hearing positive stories like this . Thank you

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 09:09 AM
I'm a OMD in Florida. Just graduated this year, luckily I'm seeing an increase of people that turns to Oriental Medicine as a alternative way of getting treatments for their problems...

I could say that 65% of my patients are pain related, due to the fact that western medicine only hides the symptoms but seldom cures the root cause...

I even had people ready to go under the knife, only to be pain free after a couple of months of weakly treatment.

15% will be for issues related to pregnancy and libido.
10% will be related to weight management
10% will be related to depression.

I can put my success rate at 70%. where as people have had either a full recovery, or at least a 30% improvement.

on the issues regarding pregnancy and libido the record is much better around 80-85%. the problem mostly with woman inability to get pregnant is due to the irregularity of their period, we could regulate their period in only a couple of weeks.

Some people are saying that OM is based on placebo, which I often have 3 answers.

1- Assuming is correct, do you care what is making you better, as long as you are? If you have a cancer, and the cancer disappears because of a placebo effect, is it wrong?

2- Acupuncture is widely used in animals, with even better results that humans, last time I check there is no placebo effects with animals.

3- The world Health Organization (WHO) has done study after study where they have match acupuncture Vs. western, vs fake acupuncture (putting needles anywhere) and each and every study has concluded that acupuncture is always better that fake acupuncture by a large margin, and that in the majority of the cases much better that western.

Any question you might have I'll be happy to answer them.

edit on 5-6-2013 by yuniorsan because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 6 2013 @ 12:58 AM
reply to post by yuniorsan

I'm an OMD in NYC .
They just gave us doctorate status here .

I've been licensed since 98 ,and I apprenticed in Chinatown from 91-96 . It's why I went to school really .
I started the thread for people who say they're interested ,but know very little . So I just posted the basics ,and will build on it.
Please add to it if you like .

I like the fact you can discuss alternative medicine here. I'm basically ridiculed for it and called a quack on another forum I belong to .
A quack a liar a mentally derranged fool who needs psychiatric help ,amongst others .
One guy told me I had no right to discuss medicine because according to him ,I didn't have enough education ...

They actually tried to say the sham acupuncture proved acu didn't work ,on the other forum ,and the mods just allow it .
So......I'm enjoying my stay here for sure.

I will post about the meridians and qi and blood etc next . If you want to post a topic ,please do .
I'm basically just writing it all off the top of my head .

My answer to the placebo comments is,then why does it work on animals ?

posted on Jun, 6 2013 @ 04:10 AM
I am a firm believer in alternative medicine. I have experienced nothing but grief from western medicine and big pharma. Too bad you are in NYC and not Ca. I would love to give acupuncture a try.

posted on Jun, 6 2013 @ 05:28 AM
reply to post by calstorm

You should find an acupuncturist in Cali then !
I can show you how to find one . Some styles are much more intense than others .
You might prefer Japanese style acupuncture .
They do not use strong stimulation like Chinese style does.
Also Dr Raymond Tan is in SoCal . I'm not sure he still practices ,as he does the lecture circuit ,but he's awesome.
His style is heavy duty Chinese ,so he likes to use bigger gauge needles,and deep needling ,but he gets amazing results .
I can tell you how to find a practitioner . You can find them,call,and ask prices and styles etc.
Most have a website .
edit on 6/6/13 by PtolemyII because: (no reason given)

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