What is Chinese Medicine?

What is Chinese Medicine
Chinese Medicine is the healing tradition practised by the Chinese for thousands of years, and is the system of thought which underpins practices such as acupuncture.

Chinese Medicine is the healing tradition practised by the Chinese for thousands of years, and is still very much alive and widely practised today. Its healing powers and wealth of knowledge have become known to the western world in the last century and has become a popular alternative and/or complement to Western Medicine.

It’s based on the idea of 'Qi' ( pronounced "Chee" ) or 'vital energy'. Qi keeps us alive and well. It is the animating force for all life in the universe. We can describe Qi in modern terms as the bioelectricity which animates and powers our bodies. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have been used safely for thousands of years. Chinese Medicine treatment can help activate your body’s natural healing ability by increasing and balancing your Qi.

What is Chinese medicine - meridians
Qi flows throughout the body using pathways called "meridians"

Chinese medicine has several different healing methods which help improve health, and as within Western Medicine, several different traditions fall within the umbrella of 'Chinese Medicine'. The two main branches of this tradition are Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine. These two practices are often used in conjunction with each other, and are seen as complementary methods which contribute to the holistic treatment of the individual. 

Taking your pulse - diagnosis
Taking your pulse is part of initial diagnosis in Chinese Medicine

Treating the root cause, not the symptom

With Chinese Medicine the aim to treat the CAUSE, not the symptoms of disease. This requires that the individual as a whole (their constitution - their natural weaknesses and strengths) be taken into consideration when diagnosing and formulating treatment. That is why prescriptions for the same problem may be different, depending on the cause. All too often in Western Medicine there is a tendency to treat the symptom AS the cause and prescribe a 'one-size-fits-all' remedy.

Disease as an imbalance if Qi

Think of your body as a garden

Chinese Medicine would ask "What is the cause of your migraine?" and delve a little deeper into why you are displaying pain as a migraine - perhaps there is an imbalance of Qi or blood stagnation. Think of the body as a garden. A garden needs the right amount of rain and sun to flourish, good soil and few pests.  Well, your body is the same, and if something is lacking or stressed, illness will likely be the result. Balance is key to health. We must nurture the body; replenish where deficient and remove toxins and stagnation where overabundant.

If we continue to treat the symptom and not the underlying cause, we simply 'patch-up' the body until eventually a few more symptoms are added and you fall over a 'health cliff'. Here Western Medicine comes into its own and becomes the necessary and perhaps only choice left to us, where significant and likely invasive treatment is needed.   

Prevention is the best kind of medicine

As any medical practitioner who's worth their salt would say "prevention is the best kind of medicine".

So let's look after ourselves, learn to listen to our bodies and understand what they need using natural remedies where ever possible.

Want to learn more about how Qi works?
Qi, the energy of the universe

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