Balance, Imbalance and Disease
The principle of Chinese Medicine is that disease arises from imbalance in the body and the method of diagnosis is via a pattern of discord. In TCVM we take into consideration all physical attributes of the patient in addition to the interface with the environment, their temperament and activity level, age and sex. This is much different than a conventional approach to disease as TCVM acknowledges the individual variation and nuances of a patient in addition to their physical signs of disease.
The idea is that imbalance and disease must be evaluated with respect to the whole patient and their corresponding environment.
Four Branches of TCVM
The philosophy upon which TCVM is based regards the body as a piece of the surrounding world, interfacing with the environment. This means that the effects and laws governing the external world are the same as those that govern the internal world of the body. The life force of driving energy is known as “Qi” and is responsible for all events or alterations within the body (as well as the outside world). Another prominent feature of Chinese Daoist theory is the idea of Yin-Yang. This theory is based upon opposing actions in the world (i.e. hot-cold, dark-light), which are constantly influencing, creating and transforming each other. This is foundational to how disease and physiological changes happen in the body.
Another philosophy which governs health and thus disease treatment is that of the Five Elements. This is based off the five seasons of the year – spring, summer, late summer, autumn and winter and their elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water. Just as the world moves through the seasons each year, so does the body. This mapping also delves deeper into the body with each element corresponding with a specific organ and thus helps to explain their function or dysfunction.
Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) is a system of medicine that has been used for thousands of years, originating in China. It evolved from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) used to treat humans, which has been recorded in use as far back as 2000 years. This practice is based on Chinese Daoist philosophy and embodies a multifactorial approach to health. It continues to develop like most medical systems and new technology has uncovered modes of action for disciplines like herbal medicine and acupuncture.