Life Energy (Qi) in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Qi (pronounced chee) is a fundamental concept in TCM, referring to the flow of “life energy” through the body’s channels or meridians. A healthy flow of life energy is life-sustaining and necessary for the body to maintain balance, harmony, and overall health. An inadequate amount or blockage of qi– caused by stress, poor diet, overwork, poor diet, environmental factors, or other lifestyle factors – creates imbalance, disease, and illness.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Practices
Rooted in the ancient philosophy of Taoism, traditional Chinese medicine has been healing people for millennium. Some of the key concepts and practices pertaining to TMC include:
- Ying and Yang
- Chi (Qi)
- Herbal Remedies
- Home Remedies
- Focused attention
- Medicinal Plants
Some examples of using traditional Chinese medicine to treat common ailments include miso soup with fresh ginger to treat the common cold, eating whole grains and avoiding spicy foods to treat headaches, and more.
TMC Ancient Beliefs
Some of the core beliefs upon which traditional Chinese medicine is based include:
- The human body is a miniature version of the universe at large
- All living things are connected by a cosmic energy
- A balanced body has a natural ability to cope with or resist disease
- Balance between yin and yang – two opposing but complementary forces – supports health and creates harmony while imbalance causes disharmony and disease
- Fire, earth, wood, metal, and water, or the Five Elements, represent all phenomena and all stages of life
Conditions Treated by Traditional Chinese Medicine
TMC therapies are used to treat and prevent many physical and emotional conditions, including:
- Headaches and Migraines
- Chronic and Degenerative conditions
- Skin conditions
- Dental pain
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Digestive problems
- Neurological conditions
Finding a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner
Accreditation for TCM practitioners varies with each specialty, however many professionals (i.e. acupuncturists) require graduation from a state-recognized Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) school.
For a list of certified TMS therapists, visit the www.nccaom.org website.