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What is East Asian traditional Medicine?

A real introduction to East Asian traditional medicine -- with its ancient & modern history, modalities, streams of thought, styles, famous doctors -- is much too big to squish into a website. Interested parties can be referred to a few select tons of books; here I only want to make note of two of its key elements which I find to be both appealing and revealing.

"Bu tong ze tong”(or Bunny paths)

can be translated as “if there is no movement, there is pain.” East Asian traditional medicine has devised strategies (acupuncture, massage, herbal medicine, dietary choices and Qi Gong/T'ai Chi exercises) to cause movement, to keep in motion, and to be in motion. Rather than a static status quo it aims for an ever-shifting and ever-accomodating interaction of the motion of health, like our breathing, blood circulation, the histological hubbub of lymphocytes, digestive enzymes, etc, etc, and et cetera. The theory explains that it is only when this movement stops or slows down that the results are pain, and there is a PROBLEM.

In graphic (albeit silly) terms, one could think of a field of carefree bunnies, who are gamboling in the grass, which has been bisected by a giant super-highway. The bunnies are perplexed, dismayed & restricted as their field for cavorting has been reduced. In one sense, acupuncture helps to build a little bunny bridge over the superhighway, thus restoring the circulation of bunny-Qi!

Flexibility

The treatment of disease should be tailored to fit the person, not the disease, and so it is in traditional East Asian medicine. Five people with colds can receive five different treatments; and more importantly, suffer less side effects from their treatments. In this way, the treatment can also address more than one problem as well.


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