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Traditional Chinese Medicine

Universe is expanding. The nature of all things is permanent movement, the movement generates transformation. The microcosm and the macrocosm are developed and transformed in these characteristics.

In China since immemorial time, man has been considered part of this universal system: product of "cosmic forces". The development of human health state and disease are the result of a state of balance or imbalance of these forces. "(1) 

To understand this system of thought, which is the basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is essential to know certain concepts which, strictly speaking, are part of a philosophical system on which rests the entire social and cultural life of China.

Although widely known in the West, some of these concepts -- thousands - such as "energy" or "Yin and Yang" and even a method such as acupuncture, empirical branch of traditional Chinese medicine, are still surrounded by a halo of mystery, which often tends to confuse theory and practice myths and legends.

One of the older works that exist today in China, Huang di Neijing, also known as "The first Canon of the Yellow Emperor," focuses on the major medical advances and the age establish the basis for the theoretical system of TCM. In this classic relatively systematic and complete, we read: "Man's life is the result of the concentration of energy. If the energy is concentrated, there is life, if the energy is scattered, is death. " (2)

Here, indeed, the idea of energy refers to the empirical observations of the nineteenth century concluded that although energy can be converted cannot be created nor destroyed, that the idea of energy as the capacity of a physical system to perform work.

Rather, the energy or qi, in traditional Chinese medicine, is the structural basis of the material universe, its essence. This concept is used to explain each element of the universe and the events in the event.

Thus, the generation of things and their changes as well as structuring and transformation of the health-disease process, are but manifestations of the activity of energy or Qi. Moreover, all things in the universe are the result of the movements and changes of Qi.

The Qi in the body

The energy body receives different names, and they depend on the various activities carried out in areas such as production, distribution, function, etc.

Energy after birth is known as Ancestral Energy (original or "qi yuan "). It comes from the union mainly Jing - egg and sperm and "treasures" or stored in the kidneys.

The energy that is produced after birth is known as purchased energy. It comes from the food and air and "treasures" in the chest and stomach.

Defensive Energy ("wei qi"), protects the body from invasion by exogenous pathogenic factors and treasures to the surface the skin. Energy (qi), blood (xue) and body fluids make up this system.

Another manifestation of the energy itself is the Qi of Zang-Fu organs (Zang organs-solid, Fu:-hollow viscera), which relates to the characteristics of each body and each viscus.

The Yin and Yang

From the perspective of Chinese cosmogony, and based on the concept of energy, settle two "forces" governed by the principle of opposition and complementarity: the Yin and Yang. Chinese philosophy has developed and widespread use of these terms to all of nature showing that the principle of complementary opposites-is everywhere and is in some way the source of all manifestations. Furthermore, the same principle contains, in varying proportions, the Ying and Yang, one of which stands, if only temporarily, leading to the dominance of the opposite.

All variables in the relationship between Yin and yang are used in traditional Chinese medicine to explain, and so specifies, the physiology and pathology of the human body and also to guide the diagnosis and treatment in clinical work. (3)

The terms Yin and Yang were first mentioned in the Book of Changes (4) and means, literally, the slope (the mountain) to provide shade (Yin) and the slope gives the sun (Yang) In addition to characterizing the dark shadow, Yin involves passive and static like female while Yang, the light, is also active, dynamic like male.

The discussion about whether Yin and Yang are two different energies and two different states of the same energy must give way, from a scientific point of view, the recognition of its prevalence in nature and the healthy and sick body. The opposition Yin - Yang is governed by the principle of complementarity and dialectical is not based on a dualistic conception. Rather, the theoretical framework of ERM refers to the unity of the dual-light shade, heating, contraction-expansion. There is no shadow without light, there is no light cast shadows. There are more or less light, more or less shade. Various approaches applicable to the process observed between the prevalence of light or darkness, between the balance and imbalance between health status and the disease and its consequences in every human being constitute the empirical corpus of TCM.


The term Acupuncture (from the Latin acus, needle, and puncture, twinge), disseminated to the West by Jesuit missionaries who visited China in the seventeenth century and described the method, is only part of it, according to its name original, it should be called Acupuncture and Moxibustion. Practiced since ancient times and simple implementation, this therapeutic procedure is the introduction of metal needles or caloric stimulation of certain points on the skin. Its simplicity, however, comes from a large logical structure of a building whose theoretical and practical parts attached to each other as a mechanism of high precision.

Points are stimulated, whose precise location is determined as throughout the skin and are linked together via lines: Meridian (Chings).

Lines are in the "map" of vessels drivers of energy (QI), the equivalent of "nodes" located in different parts of the ducts. This map graphically symmetrical meridians 12 (6 Yin Yang and 6) where the energy that circulates in turn is produced by 5 and 5 visceral organs whose functions have been added 2 to achieve perfect symmetry in the number 12. The viscera are
Yang; organs are Yin.

The first, responsible for transforming food, are the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, gallbladder and bladder.

The sixth function added to those of the viscera is called Triple 5 heating or SANJIAO SHAOYAN expression of triple cardiopulmonary function, gastrointestinal and genitourinary.

Similarly, the five Yin organs, heart, spleen, lung, kidney, liver, has been added sixth feature, Yin: the call-flow or sexuality JUEYIN Pericardium channel of hand. It is a holistic function that cannot be understood only in relation to the Triple Reheating because it is the pole outside, Yang, and sexuality-movement is internal, Yin.

When the state of the body is healthy, these two forces, which have their opposite within itself: contains a Yin and Yang Yin-Yang contains remain in balance. Health, to the TCM, is a sign of energy balance. For Yin and Yang represent aspects of objects and opponents, are not absolute but relative. This opposition and interconnection of things is inexhaustible in nature. A graphic that represents this concept is the figure Tai Chi or Culmination Supreme, where the Yin-Yang dialectic opposition is drawn through the 2 symmetrical shapes of different colors (black and white) bounded by a wavy line and arranged within a circle that includes, each, a small circle of the opposite color.


1. Fundamentals of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Tianjin College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Goto College of Medical Arts and Sciences. Tianjin Science and Technology Translation and Publishing Corp., 1994.
2. G. Gonzalez, Roberto, Yan Jianhua, Chinese Traditional Medicine. Huang di Neijing. The first canon of the Yellow Emperor .-. Editorial Grijalbo, México. 1996.
3. Editions of the Shanghai Science and Technology, 1983, translated into Spanish and adapted by John Jaramillo and Min Ming, Fundamentals of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Tercer Mundo Editores, Colombia, 1989.
4. I Ching - The Book of Changes.
5. Editions of the Shanghai Science and Technology, 1983, translated into Spanish and adapted by John Jaramillo and Min Ming, Fundamentals of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tercer Mundo Editores, Colombia, 1989.
6. Spanish version of Zhang Jun and Zheng Jing, Fundamentals of Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion. Issues in Foreign Language, Beijing, China, 1984, p. 32.
7. Bachmann, Gerhard: Die Akupuntur, eine Ordnungstherapie, Haug, Ulm-Donau, 1959.
Leitfaden der Akupunktur, Haug, Ulm-Donau, 1961.
(Quoted in Acupuncture. Theory and Practice. David J. Sussmann. Editorial Kier. 1987. p. 403)
8. Spanish version of Zhang Jun and Zheng Jing, Fundamentals of Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion. Issues in Foreign Language, Beijing, China, 1984, p. 318.
9. Spanish version of Zhang Jun and Zheng Jing, Fundamentals of Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion. Issues in Foreign Language, Beijing, China, 198, Page 41

Dr. Cecilia Cáceres


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4 Reviews about Traditional Chinese Medicine
on 30/12/2014
Thanks so much for this wonderful article!! I"m starting to get more and more interested in Chinese medicine. A few years ago I happened across a book about Ayurvedic medicine, and it was my first encounter with non-Western medicine. It really opened my eyes to all the different possibilities, adn I'm excited to learn more about Chinese medicine now too!!
on 01/06/2014
I will look up for the books you detail tehre because I'm interested in the topic

by the way, if you could explain more about the qi, that would be amazing

on 04/05/2014
you can talk more about it, maybe a second part of the article is needed, but yet with this you have got my attention!
on 09/03/2014
The story of the ying and yang is very interesting and we ould learn a lot from it just comparing with our daily lives, ying and yang are everywhere and its balance can reach everything you want in life, did you know that? The balance of eveything is what we are looking for in traditional chinese medicine

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