When I say Chinese Medicine I’m actually speaking of the Traditional Medicine that has been practiced in China for about 5000 years, but only been documented for the past 3000 years. However, traditional medicines were practiced throughout all of Asia, like Ayurvedic in India, Kampo Herbology and Moxibustion in Japan, massage in Thailand, etc.
TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine) is a system of healing that is based on the behavior of nature (i.e. hot in the summer, cold in the winter) and theories of Yin and Yang which is the give and take of all living beings and the idea of “qi” (life force). TCM views illness or disease as a set of signs and symptoms that has a pattern. The birth of the I-Ching (the basis of the Yin and Yang) stems from the differentiation of patterns in heaven and earth.
“There is an overwhelming sense of context: events or objects by themselves have meaning. Meaning is derived from participation in patterns” (acupuncture: comprehensive text) Signs and symptoms are pieced together like a puzzle until the pattern of the whole person becomes apparent. Therefore, the treatments in Chinese medicine is centered on the person as a whole rather than treating the symptoms.