TCM or Traditional Chinese medicine can be quite abstract for people who are only familiar with Western medicine. But are not all the planets turning simultaneously each on its own axis and revolving around the Sun? And is the Galaxy not like a revolving giant wheel?

Let’s consider the Earth. In summer, it’s very hot here. But, if you draw a bucket of water from a well, you’ll find that the well’s water is quite cool. Coldness wraps the earth during winter. The water’s well has frozen this time; however, miners inside a coal mine can feel very hot even during this season. Plants begin to bloom in springtime, and trees start shedding its leaves in autumn. Don’t these natural phenomena seem to indicate dual types of energy existing on earth that are converting into and circulating with each other?

I want you to observe the earth and the universe in order to show you that since the circulatory movements inside the human body cannot be detected by the human eye, TCM or traditional Chinese medicine can only employ analogy to enable you to see and comprehend the human body’s internal workings, and not merely for the intention of making you interested in astronomy.

The ancient Chinese, by observing Nature, came to understand that man must obey the laws of Nature since he is also part of Nature. They therefore, put forward the view of “correspondence between the natural environment and human beings.” A person who generally enjoys good health if he/she goes to work when the sun rises and stops working to rest when the sun sets is one the simplest examples of this view.

When they have made these observations, the ancient Chinese began to be aware that there are circulatory movements inside the human body similar to those of the heavenly bodies in the universe, and that man is a product of Nature. These movements require energies. The Chinese call these energies yin and yang. Yin or yang energy is determined by the direction of energy flow. If there is equivalence in the way these two energies transform into each other in circulatory movements, the body is deemed to be in good health; if such is equivalence does not exist, disease will plague the body.

What is Qi in TCM?

If we carefully observe the universe, we know that despite being invisible, air’s power can be felt whenever a powerful hurricane arrives. The ancient Chinese understood from observations that there must be matter which carries energy that makes air sometimes powerful. They concluded that man needs air, water, and food to live since these are the three factors in which the human body’s energy comes from. In TCM, this energy is referred to as “blood and qi.” Inside the human body, the circulatory movements that help maintain yin and yang equivalence depend on invisible energy qi and not only on the energy of the tangible blood for propulsion. The invisible energy qi can been represented as the functional activities of the kidney which TCM experts refer to as “kidney qi,” as well as other viscera. Qi also denotes man’s life-power or vital energy.

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