TCM is built on a foundation of more than 2,500 years of Chinese medical practice that includes various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, and diet therapy.
It is still the main form of medicine to many Chinese today. With more research being done, and greater worldwide interest in natural products, TCM is increasingly recognised as a viable form of alternative medicine in other parts of the world.
One of the basic tenets of TCM is that "the body's vital energy circulates through channels, called meridians, that have branches connected to bodily organs and functions."
TCM concept of disease
Disease is perceived as an imbalance in the functions or interactions of yin, yang, qi, xuĕ, zàng-fǔ, meridians etc. and/or of the interaction between the human body and the environment.
Therapy is based on which "pattern of disharmony" can be identified.
Diagnostic methods in TCM
In TCM, there are 5 diagnostic methods: inspection, auscultation, olfaction, inquiry, and palpation.
- Inspection focuses on the face and particularly on the tongue, including analysis of the tongue size, shape, tension, color and coating, and the absence or presence of teeth marks around the edge.
- Auscultation refers to listening for particular sounds (such as wheezing).
- Olfaction refers to attending to body odor.
- Inquiry focuses on the "seven inquiries", which involve asking the person about the regularity, severity, or other characteristics of: chills, fever, perspiration, appetite, thirst, taste, defecation, urination, pain, sleep.