(NaturalNews) Chinese herbal medicine is one of the oldest forms of medicine with the earliest known written herbal formulas dating back to the 3rd century BC. Prior to being written down, herbal remedies were passed down by word of mouth and may date back as far as 3500 BC. Chinese medicine teaches that people are either in harmony or out of harmony. Disease is caused by disharmony and cured by restoring harmony to the body.
It is believed that we are sustained by a life force called "qi" (pronounced "chee"). It is believed each person is born with a fixed amount, called Yuan Qi, which is inherited from our parents. We can nourish it, but cannot add to it. We can also deplete it through unhealthy living. Chinese medicine works to unblock the flow of qi if it is stuck or nourish it if it is lacking.
Qi is found everywhere in our body; qi protects us from disease and fights it when we get sick. Qi keeps our organs healthy, transforms our food into essential bodily substances, keeps our body warm, and is the source of healthy growth. According to traditional Chinese medicine, blocked or weak qi can prevent our organs from working properly and lead to disease.
While qi is found everywhere in our bodies, there are 12 main pathways, called meridians, where chi flows. The 12 main meridians correspond to the 12 main organs in the body such as liver, heart, lung, stomach, and kidneys. For medicinal purposes, an organ includes the meridian that is associated with it. For example, the liver meridian runs from the big toe up the inside of the leg through the genitals into the liver. Organs also have general body responsibilities. The liver is also responsible for the general flow if qi in the body, digestion, and stable emotions. Treating the liver can fix problems anywhere on the liver meridian as well as the general body functions it is responsible for.
In traditional Chinese medicine diseases are classified as being caused by wind, heat, damp, or cold. A Chinese Herbalist will seek to identify which organ is the source of disease and whether it is caused by wind, heat, damp, cold, or a combination. An herbal prescription will include multiple herbs. Some of the herbs will be used because they have been proven to work for a given condition, and some herbs will be chosen to fit you personally because Chinese medicine believes each person and condition are unique.
When you consult with a practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine, you will start a journey towards total body health. You will need to meet with him or her more than once to make sure the prescribed herbal remedies are having the desired effect as well as to make adjustments to get the best results. At the end of your treatment, your body should be in harmony and have a strong life force.