Traditional Chinese Medicine – Ancient Tradition of the Chinese Culture and the Philosophies

The system is characterized by the diagnosis of disturbances in the flow of energy, or chi. Diagnosis requires observation, questioning and listening, and palpation of pulses (Singleton et. al., 1999).

TCM came from understanding one’s environment, accepting man as a product of nature, and accepting man as inevitably mutually dependent with nature. Creatures around him, plants, the river flow, the sun, the soil, and the air that he breathed in and exhaled – man survived by living harmoniously with his surroundings.

In fact, much of the basic theory of medicine in China is recorded in classical books that are both works of medical science and literature. The myriad concepts were organized and documented by the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine (Yong, et al, 1999). All disorders and diseases are the result of imbalances in the body.

Imbalances, including everything in the universe, are the results of the interplaying of the opposing forces known as Yin and Yang. In brief, Yin and Yang are the negative and positive forces that make the world go round.

TCM places much importance on harmony and balance in our daily lives by requiring us to pay attention to what we eat, how we exercise, and the way we handle our emotions, sexual lives, work and sleep.

The balancing of the Yin and Yang in one’s body with the universe creates more energy and prevents people from getting sick.

TCM draws on nature, ancient knowledge of herbs and the body’s own healing resources. All aspects of an individual – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual are interconnected and interdependent. Each of us is a unified organic body-mind-spirit.

The workings of the human body was shaped by Taoist philosophy, which held that humans are an aspect of nature and as such, are governed by the same natural laws as the universe. Therefore, each individual is a miniature universe with analogies to the larger universe.

A TCM practitioner will not treat one condition without understanding the impact on the rest of the body, or what may have caused the specific symptom.


Singleton, J. K., et. al. (1999). Primary care (1st ed). Philadelphia. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Yong, D. et al. (1999) Acupuncture Treatment at Ang Mo Kio Community Hospital – A Report on Our Initial Experience. Singapore Medical Journal, Vol 40(04). Retrieved January 11, 2007, from

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