Basic Concepts

Chinese Medicine Overview

Western medicine’s primary emphasis adheres to a paradigm of health which analyzes and describes conditions and injuries in terms of distinct, isolated components (e.g. low testosterone, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, heart disease, etc.). In contrast, Chinese medicine approaches health through a functional system understanding. It considers the importance of separate body systems and evaluates symptoms which correspond to an overall patterns of imbalance within and between these systems. The framework for Chinese medicine diagnosis and treatment is facilitated through a network called the channel system

Meaning of Qi

Often attributed to being the basis of Chinese medicine, the term “Qi” has incorrectly been referred to as “energy” in the majority of western books on Chinese medicine and philosophy. This translation is an artifact resulting from earlier improper translations by unqualified individuals, inadequate access to relevant information sources and cultural unfamiliarity. The meaning of “Qi” is contextual and not absolute. With respect to Chinese medicine, the closest correspondence to “Qi” is Function.