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A Look At The Uses Of Traditional Chinese Medicine

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By Author: Duncan McGechie
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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been practiced since at least 2500 BC, and includes acupuncture, acupressure, and Chinese herbs. The Chinese believe that there are two opposing, yet complementary, forces in the body known as yin and yang, and if these become out of balance, ill health is the result. The aim of TCM is to restore the balance and thus return the body to health.

Chinese herbs consist of huge amounts of plant and animal material, and these may be prescribed using any combination of thousands of plants and dried animal parts such as those of snakes, various insects, scorpions, deer antlers, and so on. TCM also includes therapies such as cupping, which uses warmed glass bowls to draw blood to the surface of the skin, and moxibustion which involves burning herbs near to the skin. London Chinese medicine may use any or all of these therapies depending on the nature of the illness.

TCM holds that there is a force or energy in the body called qi (pronounced "chee") which flows along 12 meridians, or channels, which are invisible and connect all the major organs of the body as well as nerves, tissue, veins, cells, and even consciousness. The meridians are also connected to the seasons, planetary movements, and the 24-hour biological cycle of the body.

In acupuncture, very fine sterile needles are inserted into the meridians at very specific points according to the medical condition of the patient, and in a specific combination. The aim of this is to balance the forces of yin and yang and restore the body to health. These points can also be stimulated by massage which is known as acupressure. The needles used in acupuncture can be stimulated by hand or by having a small electric current passed through them. Acupuncture may also be accompanied by moxibustion at the same time.

A TCM therapist will use touch, pulse, hearing, smell, and voice vibration in order to make a diagnosis and determine the source of a health condition, which organ it is related to, and which of the meridians are involved. TCM also makes use of five elements – earth, wood, metal, fire, and water, as these have many connections, both visible and invisible. Using these in combination, a therapist can decide on the correct method of treatment which might also use various therapies in combination such as acupuncture together with Chinese herbs, or tui na (a form of massage) and Chinese herbs.

There are several thousand different herbs and animal parts that can be used in seemingly endless combinations in order to rebalance the yin and yang and return the patent to good health, all dependent upon the particular condition from which the patient is suffering. The TCM therapist will choose the correct combination of herbs, the essence, or signature vibration of which, will correctly stimulate the body's own energy vibration. In TCM, every herb has a particular role to play in helping the yin and yang in the body to come back into balance and each of the specific herbs used has had its' parts identified for a particular healing purpose. TCM also looks at different foods, because these, too, have different energies and can have an effect on certain parts of the body. In the West, there are several medicines that have been developed from the thousands of plants that are used in TCM.

Furthermore, the principle of yin and yang is also applied to genetic diseases. If a particular gene is stimulated and causes disease, somewhere in the system there has to be another gene that can fix it because in order for there to be balance there has to be an opposite energy. So there have to be two things happening, one gene that causes the disease and another than can cure it.

TCM also includes practices such as meditation and exercise. Qigong contains certain elements of meditation, relaxation, breathing exercises, and martial arts, which are intended to transmit qi to all of the organs in the body. Tai chi uses deliberately slow movements in order to do much the same.

Any or all of these practices and Chinese herbs may be used in combination in many different ways by a TCM practitioner.

Acubody therapists use London Chinese medicine in a variety of different combinations to tackle a wide range of different health issues.

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