Art of the Heart: Traditional Chinese Medicine

Chinese Medical Treatise, Compendium of Materia Medica (Vols I&II)Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is one of the world’s oldest medical systems and has accumulated an extensive bank of medical knowledge over two millennia of clinical practice.  It is a unique and independent medical system that remains vibrant and valuable in our modern age.  Promoting wellness as well as treating many acute and chronic conditions, it is successfully used alongside Western medicine throughout the world.

Rather than looking at life in a fragmented way, Chinese medicine believes that all things in life are interconnected. The body is therefore considered and treated as a whole.  For example, symptoms of tennis elbow (epicondylitis medialis and lateralis) are located along the large intestine and small intestine meridian, so some patients may see better and quicker results for this condition if deeper-seated problems such as unhealthy intestinal flora are diagnosed and also addressed if present.  Furthermore the body is not seen in isolation as both environmental factors and emotional stimuli can have an impact on the physical body.

TCM does not treat specific diseases but identifies unique patterns of signs and symptoms that constitute a clear syndrome or pattern of imbalance.  In this system, the human body consists of 12 internal organs, all of which have their own specific function (e.g. the Liver regulates the smooth flow of Qi and emotions).  Each of these organs has a corresponding meridian through which energy (Qi) and blood flows. These meridians not only connect with their corresponding organs but also with meridians of other organs and different body parts.   A TCM consultation will therefore look holistically at a patient and the presentation of their symptoms.