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TCM approach on digestive issues
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TCM views the stomach and spleen as two critical organs that are center to proper digestion and nutrient uptake. This articles provides general view of TCMs approach on leaky gut. Central to the treatment of knotty diseases with Chinese Herbal Medicine is an understanding of what has been called the qi mechanism. It has become clear to me from practice and the long study of translated classics and commentaries by modern experts that this basic concept underpins a wide range of treatment options for chronic illness and thus warrants a detailed introduction. I find this concept particularly appealing because I believe it goes a long way towards restoring a dynamic quality to the practice of TCM. Because it is also my thesis that the discontent many American practitioners espouse towards TCM is due to this lack of dynamism in the basic textbooks. It also forms a linkage with the daoist alchemical tradition which has influenced TCM since day one. In TCM terms, the qi mechanism refers to the four movements of ascent, descent, exit and entry. For clinical purposes, it is basically the up-down flow of qi in all living creatures. The ascent of qi is basically the assimilation and distribution of pure essence and the descent is the removal of turbid matter for excretion. Even the simplest plants and microorganisms must still ingest part of their environment, transform it into pure and turbid components, incorporate the pure and excrete the turbid. This simple process which is describe both in the nei jing and also any college physiology textbook, is the most basic attribute of life. Thus, the emphasis on proper diet and cleansing has been part of many healing traditions, including shamanic, ayurvedic, essene, native American, Egyptian, Greek, Arabic and modern naturopathic, as well. Of course, all of TCM may essentially be broken down into these two categories, with therapies focused either on removing excess (cleansing) or building up deficiencies (nutrition). The real attraction of TCM, in fact, may be the sophistication with which it has developed these two basic approaches. The long written and scholarly tradition of China allowed a refinement of a method used worldwide in ancient times. This refinement was not possible in other parts of the planet for various historical reasons, but the basic method remains the same. At the core of this refinement is the notion of the qi mechanism. Because TCM is based on a dynamic concept called qi, it is not enough to say that waste is excreted and nutrients are assimilated, the direction of this dynamic force is considered vitally important, as well. The turbid is discharged downwards, which is quite intuitively sensible, as the major wastes of our bodies move in that direction. That the pure should ascend is perhaps less apparent, but is actually physiologically sensible as well. The essences of food must be ascended to mix with air in the lung to form the pure blood that is pumped through the body by the heart. This is remarkably similar to modern physiology's description of blood formation. Also the pure clear essences must rise to brighten the spirit, as well. This was sometimes actually described as nourishing the brain by physicians such as Li shi zhen. Likewise, modern physiologists talk about glucose and oxygen, but both are just part of the blood, which nourishes the spirit, in TCM. However conceptually correct these terms may be is not near as relevant as their clinical utility. According to Flaws, the most important reason to think about excretion and assimilation in terms of qi direction allows one to utilize herbs chosen with this idea in mind.1 The diagnosis of knotty diseases and the selection of herbs to treat them can be greatly refined by using the directional qualities of herbs in addition to their other more well

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TCM views the stomach and spleen as two critical organs that are center to proper digestion and nutrient uptake. This articles provides general view of TCMs approach on leaky gut… more...

Last Activity: 16 y ago
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viewed 16,736 times
Created: 16 y   Jun 23 2006
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