Bob’s is considering adding a section for all sorts of herbs, perhaps there will be some Chinese medicine herbs as well. Anyway, we plan on tackling Australia first, since that is where my fellow blogger lives and then move on to gardens, public or private, in Indonesia and Malaysia. I’ll keep you posted.
On the other hand, I refuse to be solely guided by the medical profession’s dogma, instead of keeping myself open to other possibilities. Plus, I’ve seen far too much abuse and muddled thinking in the area of so-called ‘scientific medicine’ to elevate it automatically over alternative options. Certain prejudices can really influence conclusions of investigatory medical studies skewing the results. Any establishment creates its own inertia, and the more it ingratiates itself into the mainstream, the less potential it has for real innovation or even proper openness to other ideas.
That’s not to say that I place alternative medicine on a par with scientific medicine; there’s even more muddled thinking on the other side of the fence. It’s pretty heartbreaking when conventional medicine fails to help someone you love, but it’s even worse when you see someone you love become desperate enough to ignore obvious quacks and wackos.
The bottom line is that conventional medicine works more time for more people than alternative medicine — which, on the other hand, can work where conventional medicine does not. That in itself makes it worth taking a closer look, if only to ‘separate the wheat from the chaff’.
Plus, I firmly believe that Traditional Chinese Medicine begins with the proper outlook: many factors influence the individual’s health, not all of which are identifiable and reproducible through conventional Western methods.
The Neijing’s central concept is that disease comes from an imbalance in the interactions of fundamental forces both in man (the microcosm) and nature as a whole (the macrocosm). These imbalances are most frequently a result of understandable causes in the person’s environment and lifestyle, including such things as diet and emotional states as well as the natural process of aging. By maintaining or returning to the proper natural balance, an individual has the best chance of avoiding health problems.
The Neijing ranges from extremely philosophical to extremely practical; the dialogues within provide extensive coverage of cosmology as well as specific pharmaceutical and surgical procedures. Over the centuries, the Neijing has been edited, revised, and appended to, in much the same way as any dynamic medical reference text (or religious text, or history text).
Throughout the following dynasties, both the scope and refinement of the medical understanding would take place. Much of this is considered by the current regime of China to be “Classical Chinese Medicine” as opposed to the “Traditional Chinese Medicine” that is currently practiced — though the differences are largely a matter of systemization rather than any change in the overall concepts.
What are those concepts, specifically? I’m glad you asked…we’ll be covering the philosophy and practices in more depth in upcoming pages.