What is traditional Chinese medicine?
Traditional Chinese medicine has a 5,000-year history. It is the essence of Chinese culture and heritage. It is a widely recognized system of alternative methods of treatment not only in China, but also in Western countries. Traditional Chinese medicine consists of various practical methods of treatment, the effectiveness of which has been confirmed by modern scientific circles, but a complete picture of these methods of treatment will require extensive research. This method of treatment includes acupuncture, herbal medicines, massage triangles, dietary therapies and exercises.
The basic concept of traditional Chinese medicine is that all living beings are composed of energy known as Chi and that energy is variable. According to the concepts of Chinese medicine, this energy circulates within the human body through the so-called “meridians” and all these energy channels (organs and organ systems) are inextricably linked to each other. Although Chinese medicine has been accompanied by scant scientific knowledge, many methods of treatment are also scientifically unexplored and inexplicable for modern medicine. However, science has done some in-depth research and thus penetrated the field of Chinese traditional medicine, trying to explain the mysticism that covers this unexplored area of knowledge. Several major theories of the Chinese concept of healing and the essence of these meridians have not yet been scientifically substantiated.
Chinese medicine believes that vital energy is at the core of all phenomena, whether good or bad. She also believes in the power of self-healing of the human race. Virtually all Chinese medicine treatment methods work to increase this energy and improve its flow. The Chinese believe that the mind, body and spirit play a major role, which means that only by properly developing the mind, body and spirit can we achieve a healthy state and a healthy life. For that reason, I will not be much wrong if I say that Chinese medicine has a hostile approach, with a focus not only on the physical, but also on the mental and spiritual health of a person.
The imperative is given when understanding Chinese traditional medicine to the concept of ying and yang. This concept says that versus any positive energy (yin), there is an opposite negative energy (yang). Negative energy creates diseases and positive energy keeps the body healthy. So, in order to drive away the disease, it is important to increase the level of positive energy or yin inside the body.
The relationship between Chinese traditional medicine and modern medicine
The treatments of modern medicine and therapy are not completely “pure” from the effects of traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese medicine has been involved in modern medicine for many years. On the other hand, Chinese medicine has adopted some methods and knowledge of modern medicine. Before I start any explanations of how Chinese medicine is used in modern medicine, it is necessary to know that the Chinese concept of anatomy does not divide the organism into individual organs or organ systems, it includes functional units such as digestion, thinking, breathing, aging, etc.
Traditional Chinese medicine poses many challenges to modern medicine. According to one study, there are about 12,800 known Chinese medicines, including 11,000 medicinal plants, over 1,500 medicinal animals and about 80 medicinal minerals. To discover the full pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic spectrum, mechanism of action, potential side effects of millions of plants used in Chinese medical practice is a monumental task, which would require thousands of years of research. The classification of a whole range of drugs is another gigantic challenge for modern medicine. This complex relationship between modern medicine, both are widely used.
The influence of Chinese medicine on modern medicine
These are some of the Chinese methods that are a vital part of modern medicine
Diagnostic techniques of examination, asculation, palpation, which are an essential part of modern medicine, were initially part of Chinese traditional medicine until they found their way to modern medicine.
Many concepts of Chinese medicine form the basis of a scientific explanation of the phenomenon of disease in modern medicine. Among them is the lack of QI of the heart, which gave rise to the explanation of heart failure.
The method of modern vaccination has been adopted from acupuncture techniques.
Many Chinese herbal remedies are used in modern medicine to treat a wide range of diseases. Among them are ginseng (cardiogenic shock), Sini (shock), Zhenvu (kidney disease and endemic), Yupingfeng (to strengthen the immune system), Ephedra (diuretic, lung decongestant, for sastma, cough, edema, etc.), Datura (for cough, muscle cramps, rheumatism, abdominal pain, asthma, epilepsy, convulsions, anesthesia), Coptis (for jaundice, fever, dysentery, toothache, vomiting, coma, insomnia, epistaxis, subcutaneous ulcers), Jedić (for diarrhea, cirrhosis) , honeysuckle (for furunculosis, pharyngitis, hieropyrus) and many others.
Over the past few decades, great efforts have been made to research the medicinal properties of plants used in Chinese traditional medicine, so that many of them have been accepted in the Western world. By giving them a sound scientific explanation, it was expected that Chinese medicines and plants would be more widespread in modern society. According to Professor Guo De-an, head of the research team at Shanghai Materia Medica and a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, “Many Chinese medicinal plants have been used throughout Asia, in Singapore, Indonesia, but also in Russia and Australia. The EU and the US form a major part of the global pharmaceutical market. There is still no appropriate methodology for assessing the effect of traditional Chinese medicine. Either authorization can be established, through simplified procedures, as traditional methods based on herbal treatments, or the status of a medicinal product for human use can be established by the European Medicines Agency. For all the time since Chinese plants have been used in Western countries, there are no criteria that define them. That is why we must make great efforts to provide the necessary information for the EU and USA agencies on preparations and drugs of tardical kien medicine. “