Sunday, October 14, 2012

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

I'm not a total health conscious person, nor am I the complete opposite, but I have taken the time in the last year to try and incorporate healthier living and eating habits into my life. During my research and reading and stories from friends I found myself looking into what traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) was all about.

Western Medicine (what is practiced by doctors and hospitals in the United States), uses medicines and other technologies to help cure people and make them better. This obviously has merit because the average life span has increased because of medical advancements. TCM does not focus on what can be made artificially to help the body, but rather takes a look at your body being in a natural balance and eating foods straight from the earth to provide what is needed to put your body in harmony with itself.

The top two things that stand out to me about TCM is the use of natural plants and herbs as "medicine", and the use of acupuncture.

Natural plants and herbs were used in the early days of Western medicine to help cure and heal people's bodies. As technology advanced, the concept of using natures natural elements was incorporated into chemically created and/or enhanced medicines to do the same thing. TCM continued practicing from the bounty nature provided. I would rather use a natural earth product for my body any day, because over time we just don't know what chemicals and altered products have done to our bodies.

Acupuncture is the use of small needles that help unblock the natural flows of energy through the body. I thought this was very strange at first, but then in my reading on TCM, I thought back to the most basic concept of the human body and amazed myself with how much acupuncture made sense.

In the pie chart we can see there are four completely separate sections. When we are first conceived we have cells that divide and multiply. All of our different systems and parts of our body are made from one of four original cells. As our body grows, each of these four sections intertwine and work together rather than growing independently. The use of acupuncture (the way I understand it) redirects your energy so that it may flow properly as a connected part of one of the original four quadrants. I added a chart of the facial acupuncture points that have been believed to be associated with different parts of the body. The full body charts have so many points for so many different things that it can be very confusing. The chart for feet, for example, has many points for affecting the different organs of the body like the stomach or gall bladder!

I have not had acupuncture before, but it makes complete sense to me that all of the cells in our body divided in the beginning then started to specialize and become different parts of our body.

I look forward to trying it to see if I can tell a difference next time I have pain, a bad headache, or a chronic illness.

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