Chemotherapy and consuming prescribed medications serve as accepted treatment methods for harmful diseases in the Western world, but medical practices of other cultures can also be helpful to patients. The ancient practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been proven to heal the mind, body and soul in ways beyond what Western medical treatments can achieve.
According to the University of Pennsylvania’s publication Knowledge @ Wharton, Western medicine is based on scientific findings and treats illnesses with medications and surgeries, whereas TCM uses a holistic approach and maintains a cured and balanced body through alternative, more natural treatments.
The Longevity Center of Classical Chinese Medicine states, medical practitioners apply Western medicine once an illness and its symptoms emerge. TCM, however, treats the body as a whole every day and advocates for an overall balanced lifestyle, including healthy eating and exercise, to prepare the body for self-healing when medical problems arise. Experts suggest using Chinese medicine in addition to Western medicine, rather than completely on its own, when treating illnesses.
Qi, pronounced chi, is a main aspect of TCM. It is seen as an energy that animates and brings life to all objects of the world. According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation, Qi exists within the body and circulates among organs along meridians or energy pathways.
The human body is composed of a network of twelve meridians that react in a response to changes in the body’s surroundings. “The meridian network is like a system of highways, roads and streets that links major cities. The highways (meridians) and the cities (organs) make up an entire energy map (the body). It is through this system of roadways that energy (Qi) runs,” said tcmworld.org.
The Five-Element Theory is another component of TCM.