Fundamentals of Traditional Chinese Medicine in English
Traditional Chinese medicine is largely based on the philosophical concept that the human body is a small universe with a set of complete and sophisticated interconnected systems, and that those systems usually work in balance to maintain the healthy function of the human body. The balance of yin and yang is considered with respect to qi , blood, jing , other bodily fluids, the Wu Xing, emotions, and the soul or spirit. TCM has a unique model of the body, notably concerned with the meridian system. Unlike the Western anatomical model which divides the physical body into parts, the Chinese model is more concerned with function. Thus, the TCM spleen is not a specific piece of flesh, but an aspect of function related to transformation and transportation within the body, and of the mental functions of thinking and studying.
Traditional Chinese diagnostics are based on overall observation of human symptoms rather than "micro" level laboratory tests. After determining the energetic temperature and functional state of the patient's body, the physician prescribes a mixture of herbs tailored to balance disharmony. A herbal formula can contain anywhere from 3 to 25 herbs that are designed to adapt to the specific needs of individual patients.
Much of the scientific research on TCM has focused on acupuncture. The World Health Organisation (WHO), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the American Medical Association (AMA) have also commented on acupuncture. Promising results have emerged, showing efficacy of acupuncture in adult postoperative and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting and in postoperative dental pain. There are other situations such as addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma, in which acupuncture may be useful as an adjunct treatment or an acceptable alternative or be included in a comprehensive management program.
A training period of years or decades is said to be necessary for TCM practitioners to understand the full complexity of symptoms and dynamic balances. As all classic and modern literatures on Chinese Medicines has been written in Chinese, it has been a great challenge for educators to train students with little or no background in the Chinese language. Much essence or 'juice' of the knowledge is easily lost through translation.
It has been our aim to
teach Traditional Chinese Medicine in languages other than Chinese
so as to reach a much wider audience. Various classes in Acupuncture
were conducted in English and in French. Students from