The roots of TCM go back over 2,500 years. It is one of the oldest bodies of medical knowledge in the world. It is an essential component of Chinese medicine, history and philosophy.
The more research is conducted and studies carried out into TCM, the more it is becoming established as a viable form of alternative medicine, recognized globally both as a supplement and as a substitute for orthodox medicine.
This knowledge was used by the Qiyun team to carefully tune the traditional basic formulations of Yanwo drinks on Western needs.
The world in which we live is constantly changing. We need to understand and constantly adapt to these changes. If we lose sight of this process change we run the risk of falling out of balance, living in disharmony and becoming ill.
This balance (形 Xing) alongside our spirit (神，Shen) , is one of the most important aspects of TCM. A healthy body is the solid foundation for a healthy mind.
The fundamental approach of TCM is therefore not to treat the disease, rather to treat the person who is ill. This is based on the essential TCM concepts of yin & yang, zang xiang and the five elements.
According to the teachings of TCM, everything in our universe consists of forces that oppose one another yet are also interdependent. These are the forces of yin and yang. They form wholes made up of two opposites, neither of which can exist without the other.
Yin literally means “shady” and relates to water, darkness, cold, night, passivity and the female. Yang literally means “sunny” and relates to fire, light, heat, day, activity and the male.
TCM makes use of the concepts of yin and yang when trying to understand the many interconnections and constant processes of change in the body. In TCM the human body is viewed as an integrated whole. It sees all organs and systems as interconnected and as being dependent upon one another. It is important to note that the organs as described by TCM do not correspond to the organs of traditional physiology. They need to be understood more functionally than anatomically.
For our body to be healthy yin and yang need to be in balance; But if this balance is upset and either of the two forces dominates the other, then sickness and pain can be the result. TCM makes use of the concepts of yin and yang to identify and diagnose disharmonies and to indicate the appropriate treatment.
Zang Xiang 藏 相
Zang Xiang stands for the external manifestation of the condition of the internal organs.
Zang Xiang forms basis of most diagnoses in TCM. By looking at the external manifestations of an illness, its root causes within the body can be identified. Once these causes come into view, the appropriate treatment can be administered.
Zang-fu relates to the five Zang organs (heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys) and six Fu organs (gall bladder, stomach, bladder, large Intestine, small intestines and “triple burner“). As mentioned above, these organs need to be viewed as relating to bodily functions rather than to actual anatomical components of the body. Explanations involving these organs must be seen as instrumental rather than descriptive.
The “triple burner” (三焦，San Jiao) functional organ has no western anatomical counterpart. It is made up of three components: the Upper Jiao, situated above the diaphragm; the Middle Jiao, situated between the diaphragm and the navel; and the Lower Jiao, situated below the navel. Its main function is to ensure smooth metabolism.
The five elements 五行
The five elements of TCM are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Using these five elements, each of which has different properties and functions, TCM is able exhaustively to classify all things in the universe. They are used to describe interactions and relationships.
According to TCM theory, the five elements mutually interact in two cycles, these being an enhancing cycle and a destructive cycle. The enhancing cycle sees the elements helping one another to grow and flourish. In the destructive cycle this growth stops, with the elements now keeping one another in balance
In TCM the balance between these two cycles is considered to be essential for the maintenance of good health.
The history and theory behind TCM can today be found in thousands of texts. A handful of canonical textbooks, however, stand out.
Huang Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon)
One of the earliest works in the theory and practice of TCM, Huangdi Neijing laid down its basic principles and, it is believed, served as the basis for subsequent developments in TCM. It was probably written during the Qin Dynasty (秦朝，221-206 BC) and the Western Han Dynasty (西汉，206 BC – AD 9).
This masterpiece was written by Zhang Zhong Jing, who during the Han Dynasty was one of the most important doctors in China. It includes diagnoses, syndrome differentiation, principles for treatment and effective remedies for fevers and for the illnesses that cause them.
It was later split into two books, the second taking the name Jin Kui Yao Lue (Essential Prescriptions from the Golden Chamber).
Ben Cao Gang Mu (Compendium of Materia Medica)
This textbook was written by Li Shi Zhen, generally considered to be one of the greatest doctors in the history of TCM, during the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644). The book is the most comprehensive TCM compendium and contains details of 1,892 Chinese medicines, 1,160 illustrations, 11,096 remedies, a great deal of general medical data and much information on the history of TCM.
To this day it remains the most important TCM reference.