Introduction to TCM

Basics of TCM

  • Yin-Yang | Five Elements

Zang-Fu Theories

  • Zang Organs | Fu Organs

Classification of Antineoplastic Herbal Medicines

Characteristics of Herbal Medicines

Diagnose

  • By Auscultation & Olfaction
  • By Inspection


Prescriptions

Theories of Channels (Meridians) and Collaterals

Reference: A Modern View of the Immune System

Differentiation of Syndromes

  • 8 Principles | 6 Channels 4 Stages
  • Syndromes of Zang-Fu Organs


Etiology

  • Exogenous | Pestilential | Emotional
  • Pathogenic Factors


Materia Medica



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Introduction to TCM

What do the basic TCM theories describe?

The basic theories of traditional Chinese medicine describe the physiology and pathology of the human body, disease etiology, diagnosis, and differentiation of symptom-complexes. These include, but are not limited to, the theories of Yin-Yang, Five Elements, zang-fu (the organs), channels-collaterals (the blood vessels), blood and qi (the concept of qi), body fluid, and methods of diagnosis.

Fundamental theories in traditional Chinese medicine possess two outstanding features, their holistic point of view, and their application of treatment according to the differentiation of symptom-complexes. According to these traditional viewpoints, the zang-fu organs are the core of the human body as an organic entity in which tissues and sense organs are connected through a network of channels and collaterals (the blood vessels). This concept is applied extensively to all aspects of TCM, including physiology, pathology, diagnosis, and treatment.

The functional physiological activities of the zang-fu organs are dissimilar, but they work in coordination. There exists an organic connection between the organs and their related tissues. Pathologically, a dysfunction of the zang-fu organs may be reflected on the body surface through the channels and their collaterals (e.g. pimples on skin or canker sores in mouth). At the same time, diseases of body surface tissues may also affect their related zang or fu organs. Affected zang or fu organs may also influence each other through internal connections. Traditional Chinese medical treatment consists of regulating the functions of the zang-fu organs in order to correct pathological changes. With the help of acupuncture, treatment can also be accomplished by stimulating certain areas of the external body.

Natural Environment and the Body

Not only is the human body an organic whole (or you can also think of it as a blackbox), but it is also an entity being able to unify with mother nature. In other words, changes in the natural environment may directly or indirectly affect the body. For example, changes of the four seasons, and the alternations of day and night may change the functional condition of the human body, while various geographical environments can influence differences in body constitution, and so on so forth. These factors must also be considered when diagnosis and treatment are given because the body can react differently during different seasons. The principles of treatment are therefore expected to accord with the different seasons and environments.

The Concept of Differentiation of Syndromes

Application of treatment according to the differentiation of syndromes is another characteristic of traditional Chinese medicine. "Differentiation of syndromes" means to analyze the disease condition in order to know its essentials, to identify the causative facts, the location and nature, and to obtain conclusions about the confrontation between pathogenic and antipathogenic factors. In traditional Chinese medicine, differentiation must be performed to outline the specific principles and methods of treatment because similar diseases may have different clinical manifestations, while different diseases may share the same syndromes. Treatment in traditional Chinese medicine stresses the differences of syndromes, but not the differences of diseases. Therefore different treatments for the same disease exist and different diseases can be treated by the similar medical analogy.




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WHAT IS TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE?
DI63-048 (c) Image DJ Image Dictionary
Photo © Image DJ Image Dictionary

With over 3000 years of experience, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has remain one of the many fascinating areas in ancient Chinese culture. First known to be documented in the Yellow Emperor's Canon of Medicine, TCM is believed to have been practised in as early as 475 to 221 B.C. The field of working knowledge of TCM stretches from anything related to general healthcare practice to the philosophy of the mind, the logic of life, religion, and even to as far as cosmology and astronumerology. This is why in order to thoroughly understand the concepts behind TCM, one must be comprehensive in learning and embracing the Chinese culture as a whole.

Just as Douglas Hoff put it when he explained about accupuncture, "The systems of TCM uses the concepts of elements and meridians and are completely immersed in the Asian cosmology which takes shape through the religions." The meridian-brain mechanism, the fundamental working concept of acupuncture, in which the pain block from the message that the needle or burning cone of herbs gives to the point of stimulus, was only found centuries later by the West through science and technology.

 
MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR – OCTOBER 2012

Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA Thank you for visiting this TCM and acupuncture information website. If you have previously been to this website, you might have noticed that some of the pages on ancient historical ideas and holistic thinkings related to Chinese metaphysics are temporarily taken offline. This is because I have recently started to revamp the whole website so as to reflect a more current perspective on the interpretation of some of the fundamental concepts as well as to include some of the latest information in the area. But if you have just found this website for the very first time, I welcome you again and wish you could find what you require and, hopefully, you could also be benefitted from reading the articles I published on this website.

Please be patient and do come and check out this website frequently as it's being revamped.

Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA FRSA FRSPH

March 28, 2014.

IMPORTANT NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER

This website is published, edited and designed by Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA and reflects only and only his personal views and opinions in his individual capacity. The information available at this website is not intended directly or by implication to either diagnose or treat any medical, emotional, or psychological condition or disorder. It is also not intended to create a physician-patient relationship between you and I or between you and The Commentary Limited. The information here is not a substitute for advice and treatment provided by your physician or by another healthcare professional. It is always recommended that consultation with local healthcare providers be obtained for any of your specific health or medical concerns. Furthermore, any products that can be purchased (yet you can see I don't have much to sell here) through advertisers' banners or through links to other websites are not either explicitly or implicitly given any warranty or endorsement by me, my colleagues, The Commentary Limited or any of its associated businesses.