Chinese Medicine Made Easy
Demystifying Chinese Medicine
Ignoring Chinese Medicine
People see me last.
“You are my last hope. I’ve tried everything”, people say. I usually reply, “Everything but Chinese medicine”. We shrug our shoulders. Later we treat them, and far more often than not, they get better.
Why have we ignored Eastern medicine for the last 2,000 years? Are we so certain that our way is the only way? You might want to ask your doctor about acupuncture or Chinese medicine, but don’t expect an informed answer. Western doctors usually don’t or believe in it, prescribe it, or even want to know about it. And why should they? Doctors are kept too busy studying their own literature to pay much attention to the odd world of TCM. It’s not their job to find out about Eastern wisdom or Chinese herbs.
Those who say don’t know. Those who know don’t say.
China has never seemed eager to spread its culture abroad. . . . As a result, China’s cultural treasures have tended to remain hidden from Western view. Were it not for Chinese living in the West, we still wouldn’t know a thing about Chinese food.
Chinese herbal medicine is shrouded in mystery, and that’s not an accident. Without patents or laws to protect their medical inventions, Chinese doctors had to rely on mystery and secrecy. Secret family formulas, passed down through centuries abound in Chinese medicine. Even in today’s China, all ingredients are registered with authorities, but manufacturers are not required to list every ingredient on the medicine bottle. [That's one reason that many people in the Western world prefer to use Chinese medicine that is made in the USA]
Chinese medicine is the original holistic medicine, far advanced of modern medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, or any modern practice. It is practical, safe, reliable, and natural. Though other systems may have virtues, nothing comes close to the vast accumulated experience of Chinese medicine, embracing billions of administrations over millennia of daily use. . . .
At first impression, it must be admitted, Chinese medicine does seem odd. First there’s the language. Words like fire, and phlegm, purging and dredging sound dramatic or poetic, but not very scientific. These words do not usually inspire confidence in us, a modern people who regard science with solemn respect. Yet when you think about it, respect aside, which vocabulary communicates more to the average person - the graphic language of Chinese medicine or your doctor’s medical jargon?
Most of us understand, very viscerally, the language of Chinese medicine. We get what phlegm means; we understand heat and cold, damp or dry. What we don’t understand are the confusing four syllable Latin words of Western medicine. Though physicians may claim that technical words promote precision, in fact technical jargon obscures the meaning of words for most of us. It helps to separate practitioner from patient, leaving the patient feeling isolated, without power or control over our own bodies.
Obfuscation of meaning does not promote understanding. Without understanding, our ability to cure ourselves is diminished. Or did you think it was the doctor that cured you? Certainly in rare events, doctors can perform life saving procedures, but ultimately, in every case, our body cures itself.
Once you understand the language and simple concepts of Chinese Medicine, you will understand more about yourself, more about your body, and much more about how you and your body interact with the visible and invisible, with mind, matter, and all the laws of nature.
And you don’t need to be a scholar and you don’t need to be Chinese to learn any of this. The concepts are simple. You already understand them, because you feel them. In fact, Chinese medicine is based on what you feel, how you feel, how you look, sound, and smell.
Because they never had lab tests or microscopes, the ancients developed techniques of sensory perception in order to diagnose and cure. These techniques, known collectively as the Four Examinations, are referenced elsewhere in this book. Techniques employed in the four examinations are simple and can be done by anyone who can see, hear, feel and smell. That probably includes you. Be assured, you will be healthier if you learn a little bit about these ancient techniques. Newer is not always better. Sometimes old is good, very good.
Next, The Book By Book History of Traditional Chinese Medicine