Taoism and Chinese Medicine

Chinese Medicine is rooted in the ancient philosophy of Taoism, a philosophy which suggests that a part can be understood only in its relation to the whole. Chinese Medicine uses this holistic approach — a person who is living in harmony with nature has mental, physical, and spiritual balance. And when an imbalance occurs, the complete physiological and psychological aspects of the patient are taken into consideration in the diagnosis. The treatment seeks to restore balance and harmony to the body.

In Chinese Medicine there is a systematic way of distinguishing the patterns of disharmony, understanding the relationships between all the signs and symptoms of these imbalances, and prescribing treatment that restores balance. This is a medicine of prevention and cultivation of longevity.

Because of the importance of Taoism to acupuncture, it was not surprising that “Philosophy of Chinese Medicine” was my first required course in the Masters of Traditional Chinese program. My eyes were opened to a new way of viewing health and treating disease.

The “Tao” meaning “the way” or the “path” is the concept of living a righteous way of life that is balanced, simple and in tune with nature. Lao Tzu is considered one of the founding fathers of Taoism and in his book the Tao Te Ching one can find his profound teachings on the subject of living the Tao way. The three treasures that illuminate the teachings of Lao Tzu are: living with compassion, in moderation, and with humility.

By |December 19th, 2012|Chinese Medicine|Comments Off on Taoism and Chinese Medicine

More About Meridians

The meridian system in acupuncture is the very foundation of Chinese Medicine, and was mapped out more than 2,000 years ago. The meridians represent the principal pathways that qi, blood, and fluids are circulated throughout the body, tissues, and organs, providing them with nourishment and energy. These pathways are vital in the communication among the organs, muscles, glands, and digestive and endocrine systems, as well as the brain. It is this communication that makes the body a unified whole.

Acupuncturists believe that when qi flows freely, there is no pain or disease. But when there is stagnation of qi, pain, disease, or disfunction shows up in the body. It is up to the acupuncturist to maintain this free flow of qi, blood, and fluid in the body. This is where the knowledge of meridians is most important, and most helps patients maintain abundant health.

How Do They Work?

Meridians are complicated to understand, and take years to fully comprehend. I’ll try to simplify the theory here to illuminate the process. There are twelve paired yin and yang meridians, and two unpaired channels. Each of the twelve meridians are bilateral and are associated with an organ of the body.

The two unpaired meridians are the Governing or Du meridian, and the Conception or Ren meridian. The Governing meridian runs along the center of the spine, along the back of the body, and represents the yang or the masculine aspect of the meridian system. The Conception meridian runs along the center of the front of the body, and is the yin or feminine aspect of the meridians.

These two opposite channels represent the yin and yang at the center of the body. Balancing the yin and yang of the body is fundamental […]

By |December 12th, 2012|Acupuncture|Comments Off on More About Meridians

How Acupuncture Works

How does acupuncture work?

This question has been plaguing me since my first experience receiving acupuncture over thirty years ago.

When I was a patient, I was just satisfied that it did work. I treated it like a strange magic that made me well again, and left it at that. I had a blind faith in the Chinese way of healing people.

It was only when I decided to become an practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine that my burning desire to really find out the truth about how it really works was set into motion. Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in NYC had accepted me into their four year Master’s program, and I was embarking on a journey to find out the hidden knowledge of this 2,000 year old ancient medicine.

Finally the mystery behind the medicine that heals on so many levels would be unveiled for me to know and understand! All I needed was to pay my tuition and the truth would then be revealed.

Well, nothing could have been further from the truth.

In the four years of the Master’s program I took all the classes I could to unlock the mystery: fundamentals of Chinese medicine, Chinese philosophy, fundamentals of acupuncture, and herbology, to name a few. There was not one explanation offered in any of the classes that could satisfy my western scientific mind. This, after all, was not in my culture; the talk of qi (life force), meridians (paths through which qi flows), and yin and yang was an exciting foreign language and way of viewing the world. But I still lacked an explanation of how acupuncture treatments could have such a transformative effect on my patients.

I was looking for some sort of scientific […]

By |December 2nd, 2012|Acupuncture|Comments Off on How Acupuncture Works