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TCM Theory

The use of plants to treat ailments is as old as the hills. Even some animals seek out particular plants to deal with their ailments. It is known that the ancient Chinese were using plants at least 3000 years ago. 1800 years ago Zhang Zhong Jin, a Chinese doctor wrote down hundreds of formulae for use of herbs. He also developed the philosophy of Ying and Yang or the rule by which opposites are in balance. He compared opposites such as the sun and the moon as positive and negative, real with unreal, cold with hot and internal organs with external appearance. There is factual basis to this philosophy and modern science would confirm that nothing could exist without balance — neither organic nor inorganic matter. At a different level this balance is important in the body where every molecule is in a balance with other molecules. We call this homeostasis. If this balance is upset the person can feel very unwell or even die.

The next stage in the Chinese herbal philosophy by Zhang Zhong Jin was the classification of the herbal formulae in terms of their positive or negative effects on the whole body. His early work still stands today although nowadays the ancient art is backed by the scientific research of phytochemists, biochemists and bio-engineers. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the aim is to restore the balance within the body  either by acupuncture, herbal remedies or massage.

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