TCM and Life Balance

Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, is an ancient medical system based on the idea that energy flows through the body, and should this energy flow become interrupted, illness and disease will occur. The energy is called qi, and the pathways are called meridians. If the flow of energy is impeded, people’s whole lives will be unbalanced in some way or another. Conversely, if qi flows uninterrupted through the meridians, a person will be able to live a harmonious and balanced life.

This balance applied to mind, body, and soul, taking into account both physical and mental wellbeing. Actions and lifestyle choices can have an effect on the internal flow of energy, such as drinking too much alcohol, drug use, smoking, insufficient sleep, taking no exercise, or eating a poor diet. Outside influences can also be a factor, for example heat, cold, and other weather conditions. Emotions, thoughts, and feelings can also play a role in whether or not qi flows through the body without barriers and blockages.

Yin and Yang

To create balance in one’s life, TCM practitioners consider yin and yang. Yin and yang are opposite forces that are necessary, in balance, to both be present. One alone creates imbalance and disharmony. TCM doctors consider the overall balance of the mind, heart, body, and spirit to make sure that yin and yang are balanced appropriately, and thus creating balance and overall wellness in a person’s life. Not only are illnesses and sicknesses prevented, but health is also maintained.

There are various different remedies and treatments within the wider area of TCM, and they are used individually or in combination to treat a range of conditions.

Advisory Treatments 

Advisory aspects play a large role in a TCM practitioners work and responsibilities. Preventative advice is vital to ensuring balance. Using diet as an example, a TCM doctor will advise patients on all aspects of their diet, eating habits, and nutrition to ensure that internal balance in maintained. Advice is tailored for each individual; whilst there are some key common rules that should be followed, there are no detailed hard and fast guidelines that can be applied to each and every person. TCM recognises that people are unique, with very different needs, and treats people according to these individual traits and elements. Yin and yang must be balanced in the food that people eat.  Food provides the physical energy; it is the fuel that people put into their bodies, and so it is vital that the right foods are being consumed.

Food Recommendations

Within TCM there is great weight given to hot and cold foods. This is not in terms of temperature. Rather, cold foods refer to those that do not provide so much energy, but provide a balance to hot foods. Hot foods are those that are high in energy. Each type of food should be eaten, but in balance. Eating too many foods from only one group will create an imbalance, and can potentially lead to sickness. Sickness can be physical or mental.

This principle of something having an essential opposite is a core principle of TCM, and one that helps to maintain balance in the human body.  One cannot have one thing without another.  Both together create the whole.  There must be two types of opposing energies or forces to keep one balanced.  There is a continuous flow that is constantly changing, yet is always balanced.  

Sickness Treatment

TCM is a popular choice for restoring life balance in times of difficulties or illness. TCM is widely used in helping to overcome harmful addictions. These can be addictions to drugs, alcohol, nicotine, food, and similar. Without these harmful additions overall wellness and balance are restored. TCM is also used to help redress imbalances caused by illnesses such as stress and depression. It can be used to address negative thoughts and behaviour patterns.

 

Sickness automatically creates an imbalance in the body. By healing the sickness and removing the problem, life balance is restored. Energy can flow uninterrupted, blockages are removed, and people feel much better in themselves. As well as treating the main problem, however, TCM aims to address the root cause and fix any problems from the basic starting point, and thus preventing any future problems further down the line. It is preventative as well as curative, aiming not only to rebalance a person’s life in the here and now, but also to maintain that balance into the future.  

In contrast to many modern medical techniques that generally seek to alleviate symptoms and provide a quick and easy immediate cure, TCM is often a longer process, but one that seeks to have the greater rebalancing benefits long term in a person’s life.

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