The Integration Of Taoist Philosophy Into The Chinese Medicinal System

Chinese medicine is one of the most ancient medical systems in the world. Its roots are founded on Taoist philosophy; the Chinese medicine system encompasses over two millennia of sophisticated methods of examination, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders and diseases. This knowledge is based on the principle of harmony and with emphasis on herbs, nutrition, acupuncture, internal energetic, and body massage as well as “feng shui” to regain holistic wellness and health to a person.

The basic principle that underpins Chinese medicine is the wisdom of the Tao or “the Way,” which came from the immortal wisdom of the “Tao Te Ching,” written by legendary sage/philosopher, Lao Tse, who lived some 2,600 years ago. In Chinese medicine, the key element of Tao wisdom is that “one power underlies all” or “all things evolve naturally.” This means that all things become what they’re intended to be: they spring forth and then wither away for what they are.

In Taoist philosophy, we learn from certain truths recognized in our experiences and lives, and comprehend how they relate to the laws of nature. It is this keen realization that may lead to enlightenment, which is deep human wisdom. There are also specific natural laws in Chinese medicine that determine healing and health that each person should follow, lest disease or decay occur, which can lead to their death. In Chinese medicine, these laws state that every emotion and every act have their corresponding consequences. The deed and the aftermath of the deed are as inseparable as shadow and light. One can never perform an act without setting in motion a chain reaction or a series of consequences. Those are the laws of nature of living and life. They are true and will continue to be true for all eternity. Real human understanding is a about a thorough understanding of these natural laws that exist in the form of Taoist wisdom. It is basically the form of no-form, and has the shape of no-shape; yet it exists. To truly learn the Tao is to transcend human intellect, human senses and the human to totally understand its nature, which is the total understanding of being.

Healing and health in Chinese medicine start with the balance of “yin” and “yang,” which is ruled by the Five Elements. The Five Elements (also called the Five Processes or Wu Xing) are the elements of nature which include water, metal, earth, fire, and wood. They symbolize the five processes that, while fundamental to nature’s cycles, also correspond to the vital organs of the human body. When fire burns wood, it creates ashes, which forms earth; the earth contains metal and water is produced by condensation when earth is heated by fire. These transformations are co-dependent on one another, and they become what they become only in relation to one another. For instance, there will be no wood without water; and there will be no fire without wood; there will be no earth (ash) without fire, and there will no metal without earth. The element of fire corresponds to the small intestines and the heart In Chinese medicine; the spleen and the stomach relates to the Earth Element; the large intestines and lungs associate with the element of Metal; the kidneys and urinary bladder correspond to the Water Element; and the gallbladder and liver affiliate with the Wood Element.

The organs of the human body, in Chinese medicine, are made up of a web of interrelations and functions. To preserve the normal functioning and health of a person, these body organs need to restrain and control one another; the word “xing,” in fact means the process by which a thing acts upon another, which the complements and balance one another, similar to the balance of “yin” and “yang” to each other. This harmony is manifested in the “chi”-the inner vital energy or life force that circulates all throughout our body. The lack or abundance of “chi” is the main cause of all disorders and diseases. Thus, Chinese medicine is all about harmony and balance inside the human body.

Wisdom of the Tao shows us that all things in life-not just the cells and organs in OUR body-is also controlled and interlinked through the natural laws. We must heed the laws of nature and the universe in order to live a happy and healthy life.

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