Emily Burnie, R.Ac.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete medical system that has been used to diagnose, treat, and prevent illnesses for more than 2,000 years. It combines the use of herbal medicine, acupuncture and nutrition to help bring the body into balance.
TCM is based on a belief in yin and yang-defined as opposing energies, such as winter and summer, happiness and sadness. When yin and yang are in balance, a state of equilibrium is achieved. Out of balance, however, yin and yang can negatively impact on health.
Qi (pronounced chee) is the life force or energy that embodies all living things. In order for yin and yang to be balanced and for the body to be healthy, qi must be balanced and flowing freely. When there’s too little or too much qi in one of the body’s energy pathways (called meridians), or when the flow of qi is blocked, illness results.
The ultimate goal of TCM treatment is to balance the yin and yang in our lives by promoting the natural flow of qi. In an interesting analogy, often used to explain its nature, qi is described as the wind in a sail; we do not see the wind directly, but we are aware of its presence as it fills the sail.
Research is ongoing as to how and why acupuncture works, but it has been found to be helpful in a number of conditions including arthritis, hormonal imbalances, anxiety and depression.
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