3. The Balance – Chinese medicine
Ancient Chinese believed that humans are microcosms of the larger surrounding universe and connected with nature and subject to its forces. Balance between health and disease is a key concept. TCM treatment seeks to restore this balance through treatment specific to the individual. Balance is achieved through the interaction of five elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. Each element supports the others, thus maintaining the stability of the body and balance.
Rooted in a philosophy known as Taoism, traditional Chinese medicine is based on the theory that all the body’s organs mutually support each other. Therefore, in order to be healthy, an individual’s organs (and their functions) must be in balance. Another theory in traditional Chinese medicine is that vital energy (called “qi” or “chi”) flows throughout the body via certain pathways (or “meridians”). According to this theory, disease and other emotional, mental, and physical health problems develop when the flow of qi is blocked, weak, or excessive. Restoring the flow of qi is considered essential to balancing the yin and yang and, in turn, achieving wellness.