Introduction to Chinese Medicine

 

Herbal Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which has roots dating back several thousand years, is now recognised by the World Health Organisation as a safe and valuable traditional healthcare system. In the UK, where our health service provides us with the highest standard of western medicine, people are still turning to 'alternative' therapies as they discover that they can often benefit from a different or combined approach to good health. More and more GP's, physiotherapists and nurses are starting to undertake short-term, elementary courses in acupuncture.

 

Traditional Chinese Medicine, unlike many single therapies available today, is in itself a system of medicine, with a vast resource of theoretical and clinical knowledge. For centuries, whilst western medicine was still in its infancy, TCM was used effectively in China to treat all types of acute and chronic disease. Today, the Chinese people benefit both from this traditional system and from western medicine, with the two found side-by-side in mainstream hospitals and universities.

 

Central to the theory of TCM is the awareness of the correlation between the environment and ourselves. Over the centuries, although effort was made to understand individual parts, nothing was ever seen as independent; the mind and the body, the internal and external aspects of the body, even seemingly non-related physiological processes, were all studied and analysed in a holistic way.

 

When a patient complains of a specific symptom a doctor of Chinese Medicine tries to understand how this relates to other various symptoms and signs, and to the person's general state of health. Treatment may consist of acupuncture, massage, herbal medicine and traditional exercises such as Tai Chi.