Essential Principles

An Introduction to the Ideas of Chinese Medicine

Here I hope to introduce some basic concepts for people that are interested in my approach to Chinese medicine.

Chinese medicine is made up of ideas derived from philosophy. It is concerned with maintaining balance between the various areas of life that exist in a dynamic relationship to each other. This can be applied on many levels including:
  • physical
  • mental-emotional
  • environmental
  • lifestyle


Acupuncture (bodywork with tools) and Tui Na (bodywork with just hands) covers a range of manual techniques in which the therapist locates areas where these stresses have produced changes using a practical map of the body. They then manipulate these areas in order to restore the balance in our physical and mental functioning. This can be employed to:
  • help us through difficult times
  • initiate and support us through a program of rehabilitation
  • teach methods of self-control
  • help us focus on areas of our lives that need changing
Ideally we treat problems before they become serious, reducing tension, helping to cope with stress, removing environmental irritants and advising about diet and lifestyle in order to maintain health, but these same principles can be used to assist with management of chronic conditions or help us adjust to life changes.

Herbal Medicine

Once a problem is manifested herbal medicines are the main therapeutic agents, having the ability to change the way the body is functioning at a much more pronounced level. Chinese formulas often use a number of ingredients with the aim of harmonising the various bodily systems instead of producing a single result with a single substance. Acupuncture and massage can still be used but tend to have a role as adjunctive therapies, assisting with sleep, stress, pain or helping us to focus on the underlying causes that are contributing to the problem.

I have deliberately tried to avoid any discussion of technical terms, but if you would like to learn more then you can read more here...