Basic principles of Chinese Medicine

Essence and philosophy of Far Eastern Medicine


Health is based on the balance between the opposing forces of yin and yang. Traditional Chinese Medicine methods bring yin and yang into balance to allow the life energy Qi to flow in the meridians.


The life energy Qi

In the teachings of Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is assumed that the person has an inner energy potential: the life energy Qi.

Qi is determined in part by the prenatal constitution and is therefore based on heredity. A large proportion of Qi, however, is formed daily through diet, breathing and the interplay of yin and yang.

In healthy people, Qi is evenly distributed around the body and flows through the organ systems. At the same time, each organ has its own specific Qi. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a disruption of the flow or a lack of Qi is seen as the cause of illnesses.

The yin and yang forces

Yin and yang are in an interactive relationship with one another. The two forces generate Qi and control the flow of this life energy in the body. If the interplay of yin and yang is harmonious, the Qi can flow undisturbed. The person is healthy.

Physical or emotional disturbances and external influences such as stress or poor nutrition permanently upset the balance between yin and yang and consequently the flow of energy. As a result, disorders occur that can develop into serious illnesses.

The meridians

Traditional Chinese Medicine recognises 20 inter-related energy pathways: the meridians. These connect the inside of the body to its outer parts and provide communication between the organs.

At certain points in the body, the meridians channel the life energy Qi to the body’s surface. These are the points where acupuncture is applied in order to support and strengthen the flow of Qi.

Functional circles

Functional circles are an essential element of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Certain organs and organ systems, together with precisely defined areas, are assigned to a functional circle. These functional circles are also associated with specific energy functions, such as the storage and distribution of Qi. Functional circles do not work in isolation but interact closely with one another.

The model of functional circles makes clear that Traditional Chinese Medicine views the human body as a whole entity. In complex disease pictures, various disorders often have a common origin. It is here, and not at the level of the individual symptoms, that is to be found the starting point of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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