Philosopy of Chinese Medicine: Ancient Healing Arts


The Chinese philosophy of medicine dates back 4000 to 5000 years. In that age healing the body was thought to be magic and the healers were surrounded with superstition and fear. A lot of practitioners of the healing art were shaman whose wisdom was honored. They gleaned their knowledge from watching the animals, seeing what they ate when they were sick, and by experimenting on themselves.

Yin and Yang

Yin and yang was a concept founded by Emperor Fu Hsi. He reasoned that human life is balanced much the same as nature balances the universe. All life, in his philosophy, contains two opposites which he designated yin and yang. Yang is the masculine, positive side of nature and equated with summer the hot season. Yin is negative and feminine and opposes the yang by representing the cold and winter. Just as nature moves between the seasons creating an imbalance and then a balance so does the human body move through phases of balancing.


In ancient China, stone needles were used to perform acupuncture techniques. It was thought that body was comprised of channels bearing energy to the organs. That energy is known as qi. The channels are called meridians, or Jing Luo, which literally means “road net.” By inserting the needles within the network that carries qi, blockages which cause disease can be cleared. There are 12 meridians and they are not the same as pathways known in Western medicine. They are not the bloodstream, or nervous system. A needle-less form of acupuncture, known as acupressure, is often used when a patient demonstrates chronic illness.

Qi Gong

Qi gong is an energy cultivator created by a series of exercises intended to enhance body strength and vitality. Qi gong movements can quiet the mind and affect the balance of the body in a positive way. They are recommended for overall health.

The Importance of Nutrition

The Chinese that subscribe to the ancient philosophy believe that food should not be eaten raw, or cold. They advise that nothing frozen be consumed. All food should be fresh and newly cooked before it is eaten. It should be slightly warm.

Five Elements Philosophy

Fire, earth, metal, water and wood are the five elements essential to balanced health. All are interrelated, each influencing the other. Each represents an organ that can be affected when another element becomes unbalanced. For example; the heart is fire, the lungs metal and the kidneys water. Fire melts metal but can be extinguished by water. Only when all elements are in sync can the body function at its optimal level.

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