Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine practice spans over 5,000 years and is still very much in existence today because of its simplicity, beauty, and attunement to natural law. The methods used are acupuncture, herbs, nutrition, tui na (massage) and energy exercises such as meditation, breathing, tai chi, and chi gong. Well-being, according to the Chinese, depends upon an integration of our own cycles with those of nature, and a balanced flow of energy through the major pathways in the body. The life force, or Chi (pronounced chee), is the energy by which the planets move, the wind blows, and life exists. Our chi is both inherited and produced from our food, the sun, and the air that we breathe. It is the vital energy that supports all functions of the body, mind, and spirit. The Chinese believe that this life energy permeates the entire body in an organized system of channels called the meridians.There are 12 primary meridians which correspond to internal organs. When there is an imbalance of chi energy (deficient, stagnant, or excess) along these meridians, illness, pain, or dis-ease can result. The acupuncture points along these pathways can be stimulated to open up the channel, remove the blockage, and balance the energy flow once again. In this aspect, acupuncture is a true science of ‘energy balancing.”
The ancient Chinese scholars discovered certain principles of energy and correlation’s to 5 basic elements. They called this “Five Element Theory”. It relates all energy and substance to one of the elements — Fire, Earth, Metal (or Air), Water, and Wood.
Each element has a particular association with a color, season, taste, two body organs, an emotion, a sound, a temperature, a tissue it governs, and a direction on the compass, as well as some others. 5-Element theory is process-oriented: it runs through birth, growth, maturation, harvest and storage, and death. In our daily lives we can see how this operates as having an idea, taking action, manifestation, communication, and reflection back to re-creation. It was very clear to the Chinese that life was a reflection of this natural process. This model may seem foreign to us, and in modern China it is a basic classic part of education.
To conclude, the nature and condition of any living organism is determined according to the quantity and quality of each element and the yin/yang balance of each element. Each living organism has its own particular 5-Element nature. When the Elements are harmoniously balanced and chi energy flows throughout our body , then health and well-being manifest to their fullest potential. To protect our qi and health, we need to find balance in our lives, with correct diet, including herbs, exercise (yoga, tai chi, breathing, etc.,) and thoughts including mindfulness, and meditation.
Source: Acupuncture Arlington Heights