Traditional Chinese Medicine Combines Modern And Ancient Practices

It is difficult to understand the background of traditional Chinese medicine without understanding the origins of medical care over the past several centuries. Many of the ancient medical theories remain a part of traditional medicine, but some of the theories are ignored by modern practitioners. There remains a holistic approach to medical treatment that has served the country well since about 5000 B.C., but traditional Chinese medicine is now infiltrated by some of the modern, western medical beliefs.

There is a belief that the human body works harmoniously with nature and that all body parts work together as one unit. They theory is that in order to treat one function, the entire being has to be treated. In ancient Chinese medicine all illnesses were blamed on the body being out of tune with nature, usually blamed on an evil presence, which was essentially abandoned by traditional Chinese medicine.

Many people in China have access to modern western medical care but for those who cannot afford the treatment, traditional Chinese medicine is their only option. It is considered a more economical method of curing illnesses than the available western synthetic medications. The use of herbal medicine dates back to the first and second century, B.C. and little has changed in the practice and use of botanicals.

Spirits Removed From Classic Medical Practice

As the ancient medical practices began to mature, there were many medical practitioners who believed that the human body was affected by influences other than the environment and classic Chinese medicine cited the theories of Yin or Yang, the five elements, the Zang Fu theory, meridian and the three Jiaos were blamed for every ailment suffered. While the Yin or Yang and 5 elements theories could be applied to situations not involving medicine, the other three theories were strictly used until traditional Chinese medicine was put in place in 1960.

When the western world shunned many of the medical beliefs, mainly due to the theories of evil spirit involvement, Mao Zedong ordered the medical community to standardize the available medical care and the use of traditional Chinese medicine became the norm throughout the country.

However, even practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, which may include some of the western world’s medical treatments, herbalism is still considered a major part of taking a holistic approach to healing. Herbal medications are less expensive than those from the west and more readily available to the people of China, regardless of their social status.

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