Chinese Medicine has a different way of viewing the body than modern CONVENTIONAL Medicine

"Chinese Medicine, while distinct from modern bio-medicine, is a complete evidence-based practice that has been helping people for millennia.      

Chinese Medicine can offer a new map to the human body—one that can help you on a daily basis understand what your body and mind are telling you, and adjust accordingly. " 

Chinese Medicine in itself is a qualitative medicine that looks at the relativity and wholeness of the body versus the western model of quantitative medicine from an absolute and reductionist philosophy. With these two opposing, yet valid in their right, views of the body and health, a truly balanced “yin and yang” approach to medicine can exist when integrated together.  

Below is a glossary of basic terms that are foundational to the concepts of Chinese Medicine. 

Yin and Yang

  • Chinese Medicine, like all ancient medicine, is deeply seated in philosophy.
  • Yin and yang are opposing forces—what in the west is described as duality—that cannot exist without one another, and are constantly changing and morphing through one another.
  • In Chinese Medicine, yin and yang are the foundation of life. Blood and Qi in the human body come from yin and yang. Simply put, Chinese Medicine seeks to balance yin and yang for health and wellness.  


  • Central to Chinese Medicine is the cultivation of Qi (chi).
  • Qi is life-force—that which animates the forms of the world.
  • It is the vibratory nature of matter: the flow and tremoring that is happening continuously at molecular, atomic and sub-atomic levels.
  • Physicians in Japan call it “ki.” In India, it is called “prana” or “shakti.” The Ancient Greek physicians knew it as “pneuma.”
  • All ancient cultures, including the West until a few hundred years ago, acknowledged this life-force.

To a chemist and modern medicine, for example, the body is an exquisitely complex chemical factory, producing enzymes and proteins, hormones and hemoglobin; a view that shows her how to synthesize drugs, which then can be measured by reduction in symptoms.

The equivalent perspective for an acupuncturist, in short, is that the body is a field of forces, identical to those which govern all living matter and work together in a balanced way. 

The fundamental insight to Chinese Medicine, whether one is practicing Qigong or receiving Acupuncture and/or Chinese Herbal Medicine, is that balanced and free-flowing qi results in health; while stagnant or imbalanced Qi leads to disease.

5 Elements

  • As with Qi, most ancient world views and philosophies viewed the movement of the natural world through the “classical elements.”
  • The 5 Elements, better defined as the 5 movements, is a beautiful way to understand the relationship of the internal organs and meridians of the body and how they work together in health or dysfunction in disease.  

Pattern Based

  • As mentioned above, Chinese Medicine is a qualitative medicine.
  • The practitioner is assessing the qualities the patient displays as in balance or out of balance, based on his or her particular constitutional make up.
  • These qualities begin to form patterns that become the basis of diagnosis and treatment in Chinese Medicine. 

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