|Sections on Chinese medicine|
|Introduction to Chinese medicine|
With a 5000 years history, the Chinese people have practiced and used their ways of diagnosis, medicine, and theories to save their lives. Until today, Chinese medicine is still popularly practiced around the world. The basic foundations that have built the history of Chinese medicine is diagnosis and five elements harmony. This section will systematically go over all these four important and fundamental steps that would make one to have a better understanding of Chinese medicine.
The first thing that a Chinese doctor will do before any diagnosis is to look at the patient's face. From the hair first, then systematically, down to the body. The hair color, forehead, eyes, and especially the tongue. By doing this, the doctor has examined the general inner organs inside the patient's body. The inner organs are said to be roots of outer appearance. For example, the hair color is associated with kidney, and the eyes reflect the well beings of the liver. The general information of the patient, thus, can be obtained by the doctor by a single "glance".
Hearing and Questioning
Same as western medicine, the diagnosis can not be done without the patient's self-report and the doctor's questioning. Valuable information is collected during this process. The history of the patient and his family can also be obtained during this process. The patient's voice is also important during this process. A strong dominant voice means the patient is in excess, meaning he is "hot", where a low voice stands for a deficiency status, thus the patient is "cold".
The smells of the patients provides the doctor other valuable information as well. A strong unpleasant smell in the breath usually suggest that there is something wrong with the digestion system, reflecting the patient is "hot" in his body. Having no breath indicates that the patient is overly "cold". The smells of urine and feces show the health of intestine and other inner organs.
The last step of diagnosis is touching, which includes both palpation and "cutting". Palpation is the examination of the patient's reflexives, and "cutting" or pulse-talking exams the strength of the inner organs. Pulse-taking has such a important part in Chinese medicine and history, that it has developed into a kind of art, with its own rules and mysteries. For example, doctor has to feel the vibration of a red rope tied around the wrist of a woman when taking the exam, since the Chinese women can not be touched by another one else beside her husband.
|Yin and Yang|
The essential principle for Yin-Yang is that the whole universe is run by a single principle, the Tao, or the Great Ultimate. This is just the circle you see for the Yin-Yang symbol. Then this principle is divided into two opposite sides that is the black and white, which have divided the Yin-Yang symbol into two. Each of these can suppress each others in action, but ironically, in each of these two sides, they both contain little of the other. That is why both sides are not made by complete semi-circles, but instead, curved ones. The Yin-Yang can manipulate and push changes of the universe through the five elements that we just talked about above. These five elements can produce or over come one another. All change in the universe can be explained by the workings of Yin-Yang and the progress of the five elements as they either produce one another or overcome one another. This is called the Universal explanatory principle. All phenomena can be understood using this principle, from as small as the nature of food, to as big as the big and the evil; from as close as the working of the body, to as far as the movement of the stars. Here is a list of the Yin-Yang elements. These are not complete, but only part in nature. Yin-Yang can be also associated with the traditional Chinese medicine which would need further research.
|The five elements|
The Chinese medicine pays extreme attention to the internal harmony as well as the external harmony. The internal harmony signifies the harmony among the organs, such as heart, liver and kidney. The external harmony stands for the five elements which are listed below. People believe that a balanced amount of each of the following elements ensures good health and long life. Each of the elements helps and also suppresses other elements.