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Naturopathic Medicine:  The Art and Science of Natural Healing




What is Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture?

Yin and Yang

 According to this Chinese philosophical system, the human body, like all matter, is also made up of five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.  Each element corresponds to an aspect of the body, such as the organs, senses, tissues, and emotions, as well as to aspects of nature, such as direction, season, colour, and climate.  The five-element theory, combined with the principle of yin and yang, forms the basis of the Chinese concept of balance.  The intention is to balance yin and yang and to balance the energies of the five elements.

 Conventional Western medicine typically pinpoints and directly treats only the affected part of the body.  Chinese medical philosophy encompasses the entire universe.  Everything that affects the patient is considered, including emotion, environment, and diet.  Chinese philosophy proposes a way of life based on living in accordance with the laws of nature.  This profound connection with nature is reflected in the language used to describe illness.  For example, a patient may be diagnosed with a “wind invasion” or “excess heat.”  Acupuncture points may be chosen to “disperse wind,” “remove summer damp,” or “disperse rising fire.”

In Chinese philosophy, the energy that pulses through all things, animate and inanimate, is called chi or qi.  Health exists when there is a harmonious balance.  Each bodily organ must have the right amount of qi to function.  Too much or too little qi causes an imbalance, resulting in illness or disease.  Qi flows through all things, enters and passes through the body, creating harmony or disharmony.

Chinese medicine works directly with the natural, vital energy—or qi—of the body.  The goal of acupuncture is to normalize the body’s energies.  Qi can be tapped at specific points along channels known as meridians.  Activating one key point by the insertion of a thin, sterile needle, sets up a predictable reaction in another area.              Acupuncture is an ancient protocol.  As a component of Oriental medicine, it has been practiced for centuries.  The Huangdi Neijing(Canon of Medicine), written about 500-300 B.C., is the oldest surviving medical text.  Among other medical practices, it describes the use of acupuncture.

Because this philosophy focuses on balance in all aspects of life, a complete traditional Chinese medical protocol will incorporate recommendations for diet, breath work, exercise, lifestyle, herbs and acupuncture all intended to restore balance.

(Source:   Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child by Janet Zand, Rachel Walton and Bob Rountree: 1994 Avery Publishing Group ISBN 0-895290545-8)  

For More Information Contact:

Muskoka Naturopathic Family Practice
93 Kimberley Ave., Bracebridge, ON P1L 1Z8
Tel: 705-645-9047
FAX: 705-645-6807
Internet: natdoc@sympatico.com

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