In this Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), I will describe the four branches of this extremely comprehensive system of healthcare. With a history going back as much as 5000 years, Traditional Chinese Medicine is the longest continually practiced medical system in the world.
It is also the medical system that is used by the most people in the world, being much more prevalent than our modern western medical practice. A majority of people throughout Asia use it as their primary medical system. This includes people in China, Taiwan, North and South Korea, and Vietnam, and even the Philippines, where one-third of the populace use it as their primary medicine.
This introduction will cover the history of Chinese Medicine which will amaze you as you discover that the ancient Chinese made important discoveries about anatomy and physiology, and even genetics, thousands of years before the West.
The four main branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine are: Acupuncture, Chinese Healing Herbs/Diet, Chinese Medical Massage (also known as Tuina or Shiatsu), and health benefiting exercise, also known as Qi Gong (you may be more familiar with the term Tai Chi).
These branches of Chinese Medicine were developed by the geniuses of ancient China, who were mostly employed in the medical arts, just as our talented people today are focused on the amazing advances in computers and engineering.
The most brilliant of these doctors were employed in the grandeur of the Emperor’s Court.
No introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine would be complete with a mention of the ancient emperors, in fact the most famous book in the Chinese medical arts is called the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.
The Emperor directed these ancient physicians to focus on several things. First of all he had many wives and wanted to have many sons, so he ordered the doctors to focus on enhancing virility and fertility.
The Emperor also desired to stay in power as long as possible. He asked the doctors to discover how to live the full span of human life, which the Chinese came to believe is 100 years.
And lastly, the Emperors wanted to discover how to be healthy well into old age, and ordered the court doctors to make him a healthy centenarian.
Out of these directives, were born the four branches of TCM, the most comprehensive and effective system for enhancing vitality, wellness and longevity.
Continue on to Part II of Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture and History