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 Traditional Chinese Medicine: Chinese Medicine: How It Works 
 
What It Does
Chinese medicine is a complete medical system that has diagnosed, treated, and prevented illness for over twenty-three centuries. While it can remedy ailments and alter states of mind, Chinese medicine can also enhance recuperative power, immunity, and the capacity for pleasure, work, and creativity.

How It Thinks
Within Chinese Cosmology, all of creation is born from the marriage of two polar priciples, Yin and Yang: Earth and Heaven, winter and summer, night and day, cold and hot, wet and dry, inner and outer, body and mind. Harmony of this union means health, good weather, and good fortune, while disharmony leads to disease, disaster, and bad luck. The strategy of Chinese medicine is to restore harmony.

Each human is seen as a world in miniature, a garden in which doctor and patient together strive to cultivate health. Every person has a unique terrain to be mapped, a resilient yet sensitive ecology to be maintained. Like a gardener uses irrigation and compost to grow robust plants, the doctor uses acupuncture, herbs and food to recover and sustain health.



"I fell of a roof and was unable to walk without sevre pain. I was told I would have chronic arthritis for the rest of my life and never return to my ocupation as a roofer. After the third visit I experienced whole days without pain for the first time in six months. By the fifth visit I walked normally, without discomfort, and within a few weeks I returned to work." -- Angus McKenzie, age 36

Body Constituents (Qi, Moisture, Blood, Spirit, Essence)
Just as Nature contains air, sea, and land, the human body is comprised of Qi, (pronounced chee), Moisture, and Blood. Qi is the animating force that gives us our capacity to move, think, feel, and work. Moisture is the liquid medium which protects, nurtures, and lubricates tissue. Blood is the material foundation out of which we create bones, nerves, skin, muscles, and organs.

Human beings intermingle psyche and soma, Spirit (Shen) and Essence (Jing). Shen is the immaterial expression of the individual; and Essence represents the body's reproductive and regenerative substance. Chinese medicine appreciates the impact of the unseen upon the visible. Even though it is impossible to touch or measure thoughts or emotions, they are acknowledged as inextricably linked to physiology.


"I was on a seasaw of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs for years until I began acupuncture to stabalize my dosage levels. It occured to me that maybe I could use acupuncture to get off drugs altogether. I got three treatments a week for five months and I'm now free of two very addictive medicines, both of which were prescribed by psychiatrists. I'm relieved to feel back in control of my life again."--Stphanie Mills, age 35

Organ Networks (Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lung, Kidney)
As Nature is organized by five primal powers- Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water- so the body is divided into five functional systems known as Organ Networks. These Networks govern particular tissues, mental faculties, and physical ativities by regulating and preserving Qi, Moisture, Blood, Spirit, and Essence.

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 About The Author
Harriet Beinfield LAcHarriet Beinfield, L.Ac. and Efrem Korngold, L.Ac., O.M.D. have pioneered the practice of Chinese medicine in America for the last 28 years as educators, writers, and practitioners. They are the co-authors of the......more
 
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