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The Basics

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a truly holistic system of healing which has diagnosed, treated, and prevented illness for at least 3000 years.

Based on the principles of internal balance and harmony, this highly refined and complex discipline works to regenerate the body's organs and systems, including:

  • circulatory
  • endocrine
  • neurological
  • excretory
  • respiratory
  • urinary

Traditional Chinese medicine views each human as a mini-ecosystem that shares common traits with the earth on which we live. The basic principles of this complete medical system are:

The Chinese have a concept of vital energy known as chi (pronounced chee), or qi which is the basis of all life. In the body, chi is transported via the 12 major energetic pathways known as "meridians". Although these meridians cannot be seen with the naked eye, modern science has proven their existence through electronic detection.

Each meridian connects to one of the major organs, and the chi is said to power the organ, enabling effective functioning.

For example, the path of the heart meridian travels from the heart, to the armpit, and down the inside of the arm to the little finger. This explains why some individuals with heart conditions will express a tingling feeling running down the arm and into the fingers.

Chi is regulated by the interdependant forces of Yin and Yang. The Chinese symbol for Yin literally means "the dark side of the mountain", and as such represents the following qualities:

  • cold
  • still
  • dark
  • below
  • weakness
  • hollowness

The chinese symbol for Yang translates to "the sunny side of the mountain", and therefore represents the opposite qualities of Yin:

  • heat
  • activity
  • light
  • above
  • strength
  • solidity

A person's constitution, or the nature of the disease is determined by the aspects of Yin and Yang. Harmony and balance of this union yields a healthy state, whereas excess/deficiency of either Yin or Yang is thought to lead to illness.


Yin and yang

Vital substances

Five elements


Causes of disharmony



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Information provided on this site is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering remedies.

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