Origins of TCM

Origins of TCM

TCM dates back 2,200 years with theoretical concepts remaining the basis of contemporary practice today.

At the root of TCM is the belief that the individual (microcosm) is viewed as an integral part of nature (macrocosm). Taoist sages, through close observation of nature, were able to perceive patterns common to both the external environment and the internal climate of the human body. They referred to these patterns of nature as yin and yang.

According to the theory, nature expresses itself in an endless cycle of opposites such as day and night, moisture and dryness, heat and cold, and activity and rest – in constant flux yet maintaining a constant ‘oneness of the universe’. Taoists believe that any process of change seen in nature can also be seen in the human body.

For example, a person who eats cold food (yin) on a cold, damp day (yin) may experience excessive mucus (yin). Similarly, a person who performs strenuous activity (yang) on a hot day (yang) might experience dehydration with a fever (yang). Some of the traditional diagnoses sound like weather reports, such as "wind and cold with dampness" (a yin condition) or a "deficiency of moisture leading to fire" (a yang pattern).

Over a period of thousands of years, these observations led to an intricate system of diagnosis and healing.