There are four main concepts within traditional Chinese medicine that explain all aspects of life:
- Chi: Chi is our vital energy. Chi can be depleted or become excessive through poor eating habits, poor lifestyle and negative emotions. If the balance of Chi becomes irregular, disharmony occurs. Stress and tension are the primary causes of the depletion of Chi. Exercise, followed by deep relaxation is an excellent way to re-balance the body, rejuvenate and consolidate Chi.
- Yin and Yang: Yin and Yang are complementary opposite states of energy that are in constant motion, striving to achieve balance in all things. Like nature, the body is constantly moving, transforming and changing. Imbalance occurs when there is resistance to this natural ebb and flow, causing an excess or deficiency of either Yin or Yang.
- The Meridians: The meridians are invisible pathways within the body through which the life force flows to our internal organs. An imbalance in one or more of these meridians weakens the entire body. The internal organs are in a dynamic partnership with the meridian system, one of which is yin (the storage organs) and the other being yang (the hollow processing organs). If a meridian is blocked, it manifests as disharmony within the associated organ which can lead to dis-ease and illness.
- The Five Elements of Nature: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water are five movements within nature through which the yin and yang energies are expressed. Each element correlates with the five internal organ partnerships and the seasons, having many unique characteristics that are direct reflections of all nature. Our goal is to align our body’s energy and our life’s activities with these patterns of nature.
Our emotional state, diet and lifestyle are all-important factors that build our distinctive picture of health. By studying these unique characteristics and associations, a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine can interpret our individual disharmonies, creating a road map which leads to a healthy state of balance.