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About TCM #01

About traditional chinese medicine

TCM has been successfully practiced for treatment and prevention of all kinds of ailments for thousands of years.

TCM has three main systems:

* Theory of Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang for two aspects of things (Contradiction).
* Theory of five elements: Five elements, namely wood, fire, earth, metal, water: for five organs - liver/wood, heart/fire, spleen/earth, lungs/metal, kidneys/water.
* Theory of meridians: Meridians are the roads for Qi and blood flow, like a network through the whole body.

Yin and Yang must be balanced such as cold/hot, right/left, lower/upper, dark/bright.
Five elements must support/restrict each other: Liver supports heart function, Lungs restrict liver function.
Meridians must be open throughout for Qi flow (vital energy flow).

Theory of Yin and Yang is the core of the TCM system. All others are under Yin and Yang.


Four methods of diagnosis:

TCM doctors have treated/healed countless patients without the assistance of any technical apparatuses but only by physical examination. The four methods of diagnosis are:

1 - Watching/diagnosing the outer appearance of the patient directly to know his/her condition. As the exterior and interior correspond together, when the inner organs run wrongly, it will be reflected through skin colour, tongue, eyes, excrement (urine, stool, phlegm). For example, Jaundice patient's skin, eyes, urine, stool colour is yellowish. Dark eye circles for kidney deficiency or blood stasis, eye bags for spleen deficiency.
The tongue is very important in the inspection. The back of your tongue is associated with your kidneys and bladder, the centre with your stomach and spleen, the tip with your heart. The region between the tip of your tongue and the centre is associated with your lungs and large intestines, the sides of your tongue with your liver and gall bladder.

Its colour, shape, coating, sublingual veins will show you all the organs problems.
The small tongue like the big mirror reflects all conditions of the inner organs. This is chinese medicine X-ray or CT.

2 - Listening and smelling (auscultation and olfaction):Listening to the tones of voice, breath, cough and smelling the odours.

3 - Asking: Question patients main complaints, related medical treatment history, family genetic history, personal and general health conditions (eating, sleeping, toilets, energy, mood).

4 - Touching (pulse-taking and palpation): The pulse-taking and palpation, which becomes a necessary skill of a TCM doctor, plays an important part in TCM diagnosis. TCM doctors use three fingers (index, middle and fourth) to feel patient's pulse movement to know the inner organ's condition. Three fingers of two hands for organs (heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys).

Diagnosing the tongue and taking the pulse are the key methods of the diagnosis.

TCM practitioners use the four diagnostic techniques to gain the detailed medical informations from patients to find out the root cause of the current symptoms and the body constitution (potential cause of health problem) then make sure what best treatment should be applied.

TCM treatments consist of following

* Herbal medicine
* Acupuncture
* Moxibustion
* Cupping & scraping
* Tuina and Massage

TCM practitioners use one, two or three of the above treatments to balance Yin and Yang, to coordinate organs functions, to keep meridians open for healing and preventing disease. Imbalance of Yin and Yang creates disorder in the organs function, blocks meridians, all of which cause health problems.

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