Chinese Herbal Medicine
Can we trust 3000 years of Chinese herbal medicine experience?
Traditionally, Chinese Herbal Medicine (TCM) was an approach to natural health care, a holistic approach to healing that has been applied successfully for almost 3000 years vs. the new drug based approach that has been around less than 100 years.
Chinese Herbal Medicine is becoming more accepted in Canada and the USA for good reason; your body will actually recognize and assimilate it easily, safely and effectively as it addresses the root cause of an illness, without dangerous side-effects.
Certainly no one can argue that science has made remarkable progress and been effective at treating very complex conditions. Yet despite some miracles with drugs, such as when antibiotics were first introduced many years ago, the human body has been so over-exposed that it has become largely indifferent.
Now it is widely recognized in the more “advanced” countries, that overuse and abuse of prescription and over the counter drugs are creating a plethora of iatrogenic, or drug induced illnesses. Suppressing symptoms does not address the cause of an illness and in fact many be contributing to more severe, longer-term conditions.
In Chinese Herbal Medicine, if the patient became sick, the doctor went bankrupt
"... our healthcare system is set up entirely backwards. In ancient China, doctors were only paid when their patients were healthy. If the patients became sick, the Chinese doctor went bankrupt. American doctors are not trained to make us healthy but to stitch us back up or load us with strong pharmaceutical drugs to keep us alive in times of crisis." ~ David Wolf, professor of nutrition for Dr. Gabriel Cousens’ masters degree program on live-food nutrition
Although life expectancy may be longer for our generation, the quality of life for those caught in the trillion dollar drug mill leaves much to be desired. Many of the “new age” health challenges, such as widespread allergies, excessive weight, Diabetes Type II, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Herpes are not being significantly helped by the new drug approach.
Because drug manufacturers are in business to generate increasing returns for their shareholders, they now mass-market their drugs directly to us on TV and in print, including notices of extensive side effects and persuasive suggestions to see your doctors for another prescription.
You have the built-in technology to heal yourself
In a vast majority of situations, your body has the built-in technology to health itself, if it receives the right attention. For everyday health, prevention and natural healing, fresh food diets and herbs represent the healthiest and most enduring choice. The Chinese system of health can teach us valuable insights about everyday health and how to improve it.
In fact, Chinese doctors have records dating back 5,000 years that document the use of Chinese herbs as both a preventative and curative medicine. This proven track record of human observation carries a lot of wisdom, which applies as well today, as it did then.
Traditional Chinese Medicine and herbal medicine simplified
In order to use the Chinese Herbal Medicine effectively, it is essential to understand a little bit about the Chinese philosophy.
S. Dharmanada PH.D. has helped to simplify what can seem to be a complex oriental medical philosophy into concepts that relate to our North American way of thinking. These herbal formulas can benefit anyone.
The beauty of the Chinese herbal formulas is that they are designed to help us stay in balance or in harmony, as we relate to our everyday world. We become imbalanced (sick) when there is too much (stressed) or too little (weakened) energy flowing through our organs/body.
Yin and Yang of Chinese Medicine
The Chinese system is based on Yin and Yang, with a five-element model that ties in nature, personality, physical, mental and emotional balance. The Chinese philosophy is based on a principle that everything has energy (Qi or chee) also called energy field.
The concept of Chi is tied closely to the concept of Yin/Yang. Yin and Yang are opposites, like night and day; you can’t have one without the other and they are always changing.
Think how the night gradually becomes day, then day turns into night. We don’t have one without the other, it is a natural cycle. When we get out of balance, it can be as if we are stuck in one state, rather than flowing with the natural rhythm of change.
The small white circle in the black area is the yang which is present in the Yin and the small black circle in the white area is the yin which is present in the Yang. “This is to remind us that nothing is purely Yin or Yang – everything is a mixture."
"The symbol is a reminder that yin is constantly flowing into and creating yang, while yang is flowing into and creating yin. The 2 forces are forever moving into each other.”
Yin Yang vs. Western Thinking
To make a parallel with our Western philosophy: acute symptoms such runny nose, coughing are considered Yang. When the conditions are more chronic in nature, they would be considered Yin symptoms, i.e.. lung weakness, poor circulation, poor digestion, glandular imbalances.