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What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese medicine is practiced in Brisbane and all over the world and has been for 2,400 years. This practice is indigenous to China and is made up of four distinct and major branches. There is acupuncture, herbology, bodywork and health benefiting exercises. This type of medicine bases its theories of illnesses and treatments on climate factors, diet habits and lifestyles and not on gods, omens and spirits as some might think. Here is a brief look at the four major branches.

Acupuncture – This is probably the most widely heard of and most commonly used branch of Chinese medicine, even in Brisbane. It originally began with pressing objects into very sensitive places on the body and then it developed into what we know now with the insertion of needles in what is known as acupuncture points in the body. By observing the psychological as well as the physiological responses from the stimulation, Chinese medicine was able to develop very detailed maps of these points that influence the landscape of the human body and the effects on a person's physical and mental health.

Herbology – In China the knowledge of herbs and their medicinal powers has been the most dominant branch of Chinese medicine, whereas in places like Brisbane it might be overlooked at times. The Chinese used both indigenous herbs and herbs brought over by traders from all over the Asian continent and the theories and the uses of the herbs actually comprise the largest part of their medical publications through the centuries. One of the earliest medical books published in English was called “The Yellow Emperor's Classic on Internal Medicine” in this book it advises that herbs should be used just like a general would use his soldiers going into battle. It is said that strategy and tactics must be used for individual herbs and their effects when combined together for illness in order to help return the body back to its natural balance. Herbology's main focus is holistic and it takes into account both the strength and the nature of the pathogen attacking the person, the age of the person, the sex of the person along with how fragile or robust they might be.

Bodywork – This branch is probably the oldest branch and the most influential. Starting as simple as a mother rubbing her child's stomach because of a stomach ache to someone patting someone on the back to help them when they are having coughing spasms, the use of hands to help with the sick was the very first tool in every medical system in the world. The Chinese improved upon this tool by different levels of massage therapy. All massage in all parts of the world all have their origin in Chinese medicine.

Health Benefiting Exercises – A lot of people see this as folk practices and not medicine. But in Chinese medicine health benefiting exercises have a very long medical history and has been very influential. The Chinese have always taught daily exercise was essential, but not exercise like jogging or aerobics as we know today but more gentle and harmonizing types of exercise that help the cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous system through gentle motions in order to keep the mind and body balanced. The three systems in Chinese medicine are called Blood, Qi and the Spirit.

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