According to the theory of TCM, the causes of diseases can be assigned to 3 groups:
- weather conditions (cold, moisture, wind, heat, humid heat of summer, dryness) – external causes of diseases;
- emotions (anger, joy, fear, sorrow) – internal causes of diseases;
- miscellaneous external causes – stress, insufficient excercise, inadequate nutrition, injury, etc.
The diagnostic methods in TCM include visual inspection, listening, monitoring of behavior, examination of tongue (shape, colour, and moisture), palpation, and pulse diagnostics, which provide the main information about the condition of organs and meridians of the body.
Due to such approach, the practicioner of TCM understands the underlying mechanism of disease, identifies the true causes and prescribes personalized treatment, which has a complex effect on the whole body, instead of focusing on the apparent symptoms.
The treatment itself may consist of a whole array of methods, which include the ingestion of medicinal plants, massage, acupuncture, diet, and practicing of qigong. These approaches can resolve serious, chronic medical conditions, radically improve health, and provide a basis for disease prevention.
Acupuncture (insertion of needles) is one of the most widely used treatment methods in TCM. Its mechanism of action is based on neuronal, neurohumoral, immune, and reflector responses of body to the external irritant. This method does not cause undesirable side effects and therefore acupuncture can be employed both as a baseline therapy, as well as in the role of adjuvant method for the treatment of various conditions, especially those associated with intense pain.
This is a unique source, which includes not only information and knowledge about medicine and methods of treatment and prevention of diseases, but also contains a large amount of other unique and useful information about astronomy, philosophy, biological rhythms and other fields of knowledge that were developed in Ancient China, where the human body was perceived as an integral part of the Universe.
In addition to external manipulations, an important part of any medical treatment is the active participation of patient. According to a Chinese proverb: «There is no incurable disease, but some people are impossible to cure». For this reason, the majority of Chinese people practice qigong already from childhood. The excercises of qigong harmonize the body, improve the flow of qi along the meridians of body, alleviate stress from internal systems of the organism, improve the focus of attention and working capacity.
The teachings of TCM about the functions of human body provides us with an alternative view about the causes of diseases, offering avenues for their treatment and prevention. This knowledge and methods, which are already widely used in clinical practice worldwide, are now also available to us.