TCM; Traditional Chinese Medicine

TCM: Traditional Chinese Medicine

For several years I studied TCM, still do. Learning more about TCM and Ayurveda has been one of the most insightful things I have ever done. One could spend lifetimes and still be learning new things in the fields of TCM and herbal medicine.  I liked feeling empowered with a knowledge of how to better understand my physical body and how the physical and emotional are tied together. TCM impacted me in a profound way and still does. I had already been studying Herbal medicine for many years prior to taking on TCM and the two went together beautifully. Of course I began categorizing my Western herbs according to the Eastern style I had learned in school. I also incorporated TCM into my spiritual practice. I still often do rituals and the like in a more “traditional” way, the way I had originally learned  it, but I still use the TCM associations and they are very effective. As I said, it’s in every way fascinating and I am including some basic information here for anyone curious. To see more about TCM click here
 
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 Five Elements Theory

The Five Elements theory positions metal, wood, water, fire, and earth, as the basic elements of the material world. These five elements are in constant movement and change.  As well, the complex connections between material objects are explained via the interactions and mutual restraints that regulate these elements. In traditional Chinese medicine the Five Elements theory is used to interpret the relationship between the physiology and pathology of the human body and the natural environment.   The Five Element theory is based on the observation of the natural cycles and relationships in both our environment and within ourselves. The foundation of the theory focuses in the communication between each element to a variety of phenomena. Common correspondences are provided in the following chart:  This chart is from here

  WOOD FIRE EARTH METAL WATER
PLANET Jupiter Mars Saturn Venus Mercury
DIRECTION East South Center West North
SEASON Spring Summer Indian Summer Autumn Winter
COLOR Blue Green Red Yellow White Black
INJURIOUS CLIMATE Wind Heat Damp Dry Cold
YIN ORGAN Liver Heart Spleen- Pancreas Lungs Kidneys- endocrine
YANG ORGAN Gall Bladder Small Intestine Stomach Large Intestine Bladder
SENSE Sight Speech Taste Smell Hearing
BODY PART Tendons Vessels Flesh- Muscles Skin Bones
ORIFICE Eyes Tongue Mouth Nose Ears
FLUID Tears Sweat Lymph Mucus Saliva
SOUND Shouting Laughter Sing Song Sob Groan
SPIRITUAL QUALITIES Spirit Conscience Thought Instinct Will
EMOTION Anger Levity-Joy Worry Sadness-Grief Fear- Paranoia
DYNAMIC Blood Intuition Strength Vitality Will
GOVERNS Lungs Kidney Liver Heart Spleen
ACTIVITY Seeing Walking Sitting Reclining Standing

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A lot to take in….

The above is the tip of a very large iceberg, there is so much to the TCM 5 element theory and most of it is related more to herbalism and acupuncture which requires an understanding of meridians and Qi which is all a whole lot of subject matter. For this application it is only presented as it pertains to our sample or to anyone with whom it may resonate as a spiritual practice. You can see though how TCM links things together, how the system treats all life as interconnected and how balance plays a role in that. If one system gets out of balance it can affect another system. “Balance” has become a buzz word these days, like the word “energy” it has lost much of its true meaning to over and improper use. I have even heard people argue that balance isn’t something one should strive for, that balance is stagnant or boring. I see their point, by THEIR definition of balance that might very well be true. However, the definition as it pertains to keeping these associations within the body and mind in balance, is quite the opposite. Keeping the bodily and mental associations of TCM in balance is hardly boring, if anything it is one of the most challenging tasks a person who can handle it can take on. It is an every day, every minute and for the rest of your life challenge. Hardly stagnant!
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