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  • Efrat abramson

Ancient Chinese Medicine - Unveiling the Mystery

Have you ever wondered what lies behind ancient Chinese medicine?

Chinese medicine has evolved and flourished for thousands of years alongside Chinese culture and philosophy.

The therapeutic approach of Chinese medicine includes acupuncture, herbal remedies, nutrition, movement, and touch.

Chinese medicine is unique in its emphasis on a healthy lifestyle and prevention of disease.

In the ancient medical writings, which were written around 5000 years ago, a profound discussion takes place between the Yellow Emperor and his personal physician, Qi Bo. At the beginning of the Yellow Emperor's Internal Medicine book, the physician explains to the curious emperor the principle for good and healthy living: maintaining a balanced lifestyle, good sleep, balanced nutrition, and avoiding an indolent lifestyle.

This philosophy and Chinese medicine are a heritage that developed through observation and learning about the cycles of nature on Earth and in the heavens. This philosophy sees a cosmic unity, where its parts exist in perfect harmony. The Chinese understood that the same structure of nature is reflected in the human body, which lives and operates under the forces and laws of the universe. Therefore, if a person does not adhere to the laws of nature, they will suffer from diseases.

This ancient heritage was passed down from teacher to student, from generation to generation.

The process of learning and apprenticing as a Chinese physician was long and comprehensive, involving learning about the cycles of nature, seasons, celestial bodies, stars, and their effects on humans. Additionally, students learned the secrets of Chinese medicine, such as Qi, meridians, Yin and Yang, the physiological functions of body organs, and more. Gradually, the student became more knowledgeable in the field through observing their mentor's treatment of patients. For example, one of the diagnoses that the student had to learn was pulse diagnosis, considered one of the most difficult but precise and profound diagnostic tools in Chinese medicine. As a result, the process of certifying a student as a physician took about 15 years.

The Theory of Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches

One of the important principles in the foundation of ancient Chinese medicine is understanding the root cause of the patient's problem. The root cause is often traced back to the energetic tendencies of the patient from birth.

According to the philosophy of ancient Chinese medicine, Heaven and Earth are inseparably linked to humans, and the possibility of providing medical treatment without deep understanding and knowledge of the laws of the universe is inconceivable. This medicine saw humans as part of the cosmos, thus attaching importance to the state of the moon, sun, the date of treatment, and the birth date of the individual. According to this perspective, humans should be balanced while considering cosmic energies, the individual's energies, and specific complaints. This branch of Chinese medicine, which considers the cosmos and time, is called "The Theory of the 10 Heavenly Stems & 12 Earthly Branches."

This method is considered unique because it connects the heavens, Earth, and humans. This ancient knowledge was kept secret in ancient China. Today, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) dominates in China. Only in countries surrounding China, such as Taiwan, Korea, and Vietnam, do practitioners continue to use the original and ancient methods. More than 50 years ago, a Dutchman named Van Buren studied under two practitioners in Taiwan and Korea for five years and was initiated by them. Upon returning to the Netherlands, he founded the School for Ancient Chinese Medicine in 1972 and was one of the pioneers in teaching ancient Chinese medicine in the West. Another school was established in England (ICOM). Currently, ancient Chinese medicine is making a comeback mainly in the West. It's reasonable to assume that in the future, it will also find its way back to China, as its origin lies in the "Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon." This is the primary sourcebook for anyone studying Chinese medicine. The theory of "Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches" is becoming more recognized and is also taught in Ireland, Finland, England, the Netherlands, and Israel. The teachers are disciples of Van Buren.

What is the uniqueness of the Theory of Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches?

According to the theory of Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches, the birth chart (an astrological chart based on the birth date) of the patient is taken into account in the diagnostic process, treatment strategy, acupuncture point selection, personalised recommendations for health, and prognostic evaluation. Therefore, each patient who comes to the clinic receives treatment tailored to their unique individual structure and tendencies.

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