Updated: Aug 24
Much is said about the idea that traditional Chinese medicine uses a holistic approach to treat mind and body, but what do those phrases really mean?
If asked, I am sure that many in the Chinese medicine world would not be able to describe what holistic treatment actually involves and what distinguishes holistic therapies from more mainstream approaches.
What marks Chinese medicine out from all other forms of medicine (except Ayurvedic medicine which was developed in India), is that over the long history of thought and practice that went into creating these great forms of medicine, they understood what holistic means. In fact, you could say that this was their default mode of thinking.
Whereas nowadays there is a growing acceptance that holistic thinking might be a useful (possibly species saving) way of thinking, the ancients who developed “traditional Chinese medicine” and its even older patterns of thinking, saw everything in this way. It was very difficult for them to start their conceptual thinking about the universe, the body/mind and the growing life of an individual from anywhere other than this holistic standpoint.
More than that, they managed somehow to see that everything is inherently linked to everything else in the universe without losing focus. Rather than being swamped by this connected up information, they worked out ways to categorise these into universal principles. In other words, they developed a map. A map of what holistic means, a plan which mapped out everything every type of force that will affect you and your life
This means that they, we, can understand not only how illness can echo throughout every aspect of your life but how we can use every aspect of your life to affect what you are experiencing as a problem, a stuck area, a disease, or something that your mind or bodily system cannot move on from.
We can not only try to find effective solutions for that problem but also give you a context of why it came about in the first place.
Many of our strategies and approaches to life that we have turned into habits can culminate in a mysterious problem that just won’t go away. Treating the problem is the first thing to do, get into those long-term issues stuck in the deep tissues of the body, hiding away in the habitual workings of their mind.
Then learn how those parts of our life and our behaviour managed to arrive at a manifested disease and how we can avoid those things happening and turn them into positive reinforcement patterns so that they enrich our lives rather than just lead to another car crash or traffic jam in our life’s journey.
This was the aim of traditional Chinese medicine from the oldest traditions as written about in the classics from 3000 years ago. They are the same now as they were then.
We are resurrecting those traditions because they have never been wrong and they remain as modern today as they were 3000 years ago.