Traditional Medical Systems

Essay by bigdawg89College, UndergraduateA, April 2010

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Traditional Medical Systems

Traditional Chinese medicine can be traced back thousands of years and has been proven effective while withstanding the ultimate test of time over the past centuries. The base of Traditional Chinese Medicine is the concept of Qi, or Chi, which is most simply defined by Karen Fontaine as, "An invisible flow of energy that circulates through plants, animals, and people as well as the earth and sky. It is what maintains physiologic functions and the health and well-being of the individual." (Fontaine 51) One must understand this concept of Chi in order to begin to understand the practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has both its positive attributes and benefits as well as a possible downside. It comprises medical knowledge from various origins and eras from before the time of modern medicine. One obvious pro for traditional medicine is that is promotes a general healthy lifestyle.

For numerous traditional medicines, the efficacy has been proven over time and sworn upon by millions of people throughout the world. Traditional Chinese Medicine is also significantly more affordable compared to some pharmaceutical products, and also less prone to produce side effects. However, since a lot of herbal medicines that are used by the public have not been thoroughly researched, people ought to be concerned about the possible unwanted side affects that can result from using some of these alternative herbal medicine products.

The Five Phases Theory, otherwise known as Wu Xing is used for describing interactions and relationships between natural elements and body organs. According to the Five Phases Theory, it is not necessarily the elements and body organs that are of the most importance, it is about how they interact and function together to create a balanced Chi. (52)

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