Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine

According to animalerts, traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese medicine, is based on ideas of natural philosophy and various methods of empirical medicine. In contrast to modern western medicine, which interprets the development of diseases as primarily chemical and physical changes in the organism, traditional Chinese medicine is based on a complex medical system that emphasizes the integration of humans into earthly processes and a more energetic view of health and Puts disease in the foreground.

Basics: The most important basis is the division of all things into the polarities of yin and yang. Health is viewed as a relative balance between yin and yang. The assignment of natural phenomena to the five elements wood, fire, earth, metal and water, which comes from natural philosophy, is becoming less important in modern traditional Chinese medicine.

Another important basis is the consideration of the body in functional contexts, the functional circles. For example, it is not the heart as an organ that is in the foreground, but the function of regulating blood circulation. The term Qi, which can be translated somewhat simplistically as “energy”, has a central meaning. Several forms of Qi can be distinguished. The meridian system represents a complex network for the distribution of Qi in the entire organism.

Causes of the disease and diagnostic methods: All external and internal influences can bring the organism out of balance and thereby cause diseases. External influences include: climatic stimuli (wind, cold, heat, dryness, wetness), food (irregular and one-sided diet), injuries and lack of exercise. Internal causes include the psychological reactions of joy, anger, sadness, brooding and fear. Frequent causes of illness can be an excess or lack of energy in a functional circuit or a disturbed flow of energy through the meridians. The anamnesis, inspection, auscultation (listening to body noises) and palpation (palpation) are of great importance in traditional Chinese medicine. In addition, the assessment of the tongue (tongue diagnostics) and the pulse (pulse diagnostics) are of great importance.

Different areas of the tongue are assigned to certain organs, for example the tip of the tongue reflects the state of the heart. Conclusions about internal conditions also allow structure and color changes in the course of the meridians. The individual information obtained in this way is summarized in a holistic system diagnosis (syndrome diagnosis) and a corresponding therapy plan is derived from this.

Treatment Methods: Traditional Chinese Medicine uses herbal, animal and mineral medicines; however, the medicinal herbs play the greatest role. These are not selected based on their pharmacological effect. Characteristics such as sweet, bitter, cold, cool, hot, salty or warm are ascribed to them and the main effects on the organ systems and the various forms of Qi are derived from them. Further pillars of treatment are acupuncture, as well as nutritional and exercise therapy (tai chi, qigong). The Tuina massage is also used.

History: The tradition of medicinal knowledge is in China until the 14th / 13th centuries. Century BC To trace back to BC; the oldest texts are in the Zuo-zhuan collection (Tso-chuan, around 540 BC). Classical Chinese medicine developed in the time of Daoism (beginning in the 3rd century BC), in its holistic approach, is essentially subject to the spiritual requirements of this teaching. However, disease theory, diagnostics and therapy have developed through thousands of years of experience to a high level of knowledge. For the collection of the traditions were among others. the pharmacopoeias are significant, especially those of Li Shizhen (Li Shih-chen, * 1518, † 1593) written classical medicine Ben-cao gang-mu (Pen-ts’ao kang-mu) from 1578 (Latin materia medica) to Europe.

Medical knowledge, which was under Indian and Iranian influence, already included a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic knowledge (e.g. pulse diagnostics, dietetics, respiratory therapy, physiotherapy, herbal and mineral therapy) at the time of the first Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huangdi (221–210 BC) Remedies). The classic work of internal medicine, Nei-jing (Nei-ching, “internal diseases”), goes back to the Han period (202 BC to 220 AD). Methods of anesthesia using Indian hemp, which were probably also used for surgical interventions, and the introduction of hydrotherapy go to Yuanhua (Yüan-hua, actually Hua Tuo, Hua T’o, † 208 or 220 AD)., the classic representation of acupuncture, which has been known since ancient times, in Huangfu Mi (Huang-fu Mi, * 215, † 282) and the description of the diagnostic pulse theory (sphygmology) in Wang Shuhe, which is effective through translation into Latin in the Middle Ages up to European medicine (Wang Shu-ho, 3rd century). In the years that followed, cataract operations and orthopedic treatment of broken bones were added to the surgical skills; the use of the dental amalgam for fillings was known very early on. A first description of the smallpox disease goes back to Ge Hong (Ko Hung, * 281, † 340), the (speculative) interpretation of pulmonary tuberculosis as an infectious disease to the philosopher Sun Simiao (Sun Ssu-miao, * 581, † 682).

The health system was under state control at an early stage (monitoring of medical training since 624, state drug lists from the 10th century); The broader contact with European medicine came from the communication, which began in the 18th century, primarily through missionaries (in 1881 the first western medical school was founded in Tianjin). However, the classical teachings are still of decisive importance in Chinese medicine today; Since the 1970s, they have found their way back into Western medicine, especially in the form of acupuncture.

Traditional Chinese Medicine