From the Inside Out
TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) sees the body as an interconnected system where each part affects the whole and the whole affects each part. It is also a system that seeks balance between two opposing forces. When the balance is disrupted, we see the effects in illness, poor complexion, lower energy levels, aches and pains, low or irritable moods, disrupted functions, and weight fluctuations.
The direction of TCM aims to heal the whole body starting from the major sources of life force or qi, then moving out into the specific issues. Unlike Western medicine, which treats only symptoms, not the causes or sources, TCM heals you from the inside out.
The notion of balance is fundamental to the understanding of TCM. Everything has an opposite and these opposites control each other. Imagine a rope in a tug of war and the line in the mud is the center of balance - where we want the body to be ideally. There will be a constant push or pull, a negotiation if you will, on the matters of balance of the system. These opposing forces also mutually create one another, one side opening space for the other or building each other up. They are mutually transmutable, again painting that picture of balance. If you body was a jar and these opposing forces were water and oil, imagine the levels adjusting when necessary.
The name for these forces are probably quite familiar to you - Yin and Yang.
Yin is the feminine/female, winter. It is dark, night, wet and cold. It deals with the internal, the chronic and is solid. Yin's primary purpose is to manufacture and store Qi (the life forces that governs all living things), blood, body fluids, your Jing (your essence), and Shen (your spirit).
Yang is the masculine/male, summer. It is light, day, dry and hot. It operates with the external, the acute and is hollow. Yang receives and digests food and nutrients without storing them, and transports and excretes waste.
Each internal organ is associated with these forces, and they are fundamental to understanding the TCM system of the body.
What other opposing forces can you think of?