Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) originated in the Huanghe Valley in Ancient China. At that time, people had only an elementary knowledge of anatomy, and the JL specific functions of the different organs of the body were not fully understood. The ancient Chinese based their medical studies on concepts that bore many similarities to modern control theory or to the study of astronomy, climates and plant ecology, rather than specializing in the study of separate organs. They combined the study of the human body with the study of Nature and reduced it to five different systems, exploring the physiological and pathological changes in the human body and its reaction to herbal medicine. This gradually developed into the systematic theory of traditional Chinese medicine.

In clinical practice, traditional Chinese medicine underlines its diagnosis and treatment with an analysis based on the differentiation of symptoms. In effect, this means that TCM does not focus mainly on dealing with symptoms, but seeks out and cures the underlying causes of the disease that are producing these symptoms.

Take, for example, a case of common constipation. In some instances, there are immediate causes, such as acute obstruction, whereas in others the causes are long­term or chronic. Remedies vary from the "direct attack", which is cathartic, to just "mild regulation". At the same time the treatment will contain medicines to ease bowel movement and act on the related nerve system, hormonal system, soft tissues and organs. Traditional Chinese medicine describes this as "different remedies for the same ailment".

As another example, hay fever symptoms include a blocked nose, itchy eyes and a sore throat. This is described in tra­ditional Chinese medicine as "spreading
internal heat in the lung system". The prescription will be Powder of Lonicera and Forsythia. However, a virus infection can cause all the same symptoms, and so in each case the same diagnosis will be made and the same remedy given. This works very effectively and in tradi­tional Chinese medicine this is described as "the same remedy for different ailments".

Herbal medicine has been in existence for more than 5,000 years. During its long history, TCM doctors have gained rich theoretical and clinical experience. About 200 years ago, traditional Chinese medi­cine had already developed very specific specializations in internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics, gynaecology, oto­laryngology (ear and throat), pediatrics, ophthalmology, acupuncture and mas­sage. As such, traditional Chinese medicine is a valuable asset that should be avail­able for the benefit of the whole world.