Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient health system. It views the body as a holistic system of balance. According to TCM, the origin of disease or ill health is due to an imbalance which occurs in the body due to environmental influences or internal stress.
The origins of TCM stem from the Daoist philosophy which involves the concept of Yin and Yang and the interaction between a person and their environment.
Yin and Yang
Most of us are familiar with the Yin and Yang symbol. Yin and Yang represent the concept of balance and duality. Yin is indicated by white and yang is black. You will notice the nature of Yin and Yang being where one is in abundance the other is less, each side always containing a small portion of the other. A classic example of this is day and night. As the sun rises in the morning the night slowly turns into day. As the day gathers its momentum and is at its fullest, it is always moving towards sun set where night will encroach on the day and the cycle will continue.
The balance of Yin and Yang can be related to the human body in many ways.
Yang represents qualities such as movement, heat and day time.
Yin are the opposite, cool, rest and night. In the body Yin represents qualities such as rest, passiveness or recuperation. As Yin is “cool”, our bodies cool down while we sleep and our organs rest. If the metabolism is overactive symptoms such as getting hot at night will occur which means the body’s yin and yang are imbalanced.
An integral part of TCM is the concept of Qi. Qi flows through a system of channels or meridians creating a cycle of energy throughout the body. The vitality or strength of Qi represents the constitutional health of a person. If the Qi is strong it will be able to nourish the organ system, the brain and all other structures of the body. If someone has been placed under prolonged stress or has fatigued due to lifestyle issues, their Qi may become weakened or blocked within the channels. The result of such influences will eventually create an imbalance in the body; this is said to be the origin of disease or ill health.