Ancient China’s four most well developed areas in civilization were Astronomy,Arithmetic,Agronomy and TraditionalChinese Medicine. Popularly known as TCM. Despite the fact TCM is being denied by some people and bodies both locally and internationally as not being scientific. It has been and still is the only surviving subject among the above mentioned (TCM)which has been fully replaced by orthodox medicine.
Traditional Chinese medicine survival hasn’t been easy at all. It stood strongly during the period when orthodox revolution started spreading across the world on the wings of Christian religious doctrines and bringing in new theories contradictory to that of TCM. Traditional Chinese medicine and other Traditional medicine has endured the test of time because of the fear of infections from orthodox medical examinations,potential toxic side effects from chemical and drugs. The scary nature of surgery and surgical procedures as well as the cost involve has caused many to seek for alternative in traditional medicine in the hope for a more natural treatment.
Secondly,in the minds of many local folks orthodox medicine is too foreign to them. Natural medical therapies forms part of the culture and basic lives of the people. Furthermore,orthodox medicine could not and still cannot meet the health care needs of a vast number of people especially at rural and remote places.
Today,we have to face reality as one of the biggest challenges of our health establishment is being put to test by an unknown invader. (Corona virus). It is in this period of great challenge that’s where l as a student of TCM for see a great opportunity and call for a change in our thinking relating to the fact that orthodox medicine has the answer to all our health needs. A clear picture of their weakness calls for us to emulate what China has done to sustain their health establishments for all these thousands of years. Our leaders both on the forefront of our health institutions as well as decision makers must integrate traditional medicine into the main health stream of the country under health insurance. The using of traditional medicine to curb this pandemic has rated countries like China and that is am encouraging enough for us also to use traditional medicine.
Due to the well documented and preserved system of TCM’s system of diagnosing and treating diseases which has been well preserved and passed on from generation to generation. This accumulation of information on syndrome identification and differentiation has remained unchanged for almost two thousand years. All other findings and studies concentrated on finding evidence and proof to further prove the established theory. Unlike orthodox medicine medications and theories is being constantly renewed and upgraded.
This style of approach with some few successes in invention and treatment quickly negated all its failures and established itself a reputation for its practitioners. They soon became members held in very high esteem relegating traditional medicine into a category of misfit. The question is are seeing evidence of the nearer people are to orthodox medicine, the less healthy they are?
Traditional medicine be it TCM or any traditional medicine of any group of people or race has a lot of similarities. Take a look around and you will find it enlightening to note not only how traditional medicine is different but rather similar. It is as if ‘THERE IS A COMMON FROM WHICH ALL ORHER TRADITIONAL MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE DRAWS THEIR BASIC CONCEPT ‘
Take for instance Acupunture. African and for that matter most countries have the culture of piercing their bodies especially their ears. When it comes to massage. Gone were the days when we used to step on our parents and grandparent’s back to deal with their backaches.
TCM’s most basic style of diagnosing and treating diseases can broadly be grouped into four stages. LOOKING, SMELLING, ASKING AND PULSE TAKING.
With looking, TCM practitioner uses his or her sense of sight to read the state of a person’s internal organs. TCM believes for example that the heart opens in the tongue. Therefore, by looking at the tongue a TCM practitioner is able to read the patient’s state of health in relation to his or her heart.
With smelling, patients with some strange odor like bad breath gives an indication of his or her health state in relation to his or stomach.
Asking as a TCM concept as its name implies deals with finding out patients condition through series of questioning and finally Pulse Taking or pulse reading whereby a TCM practitioner places the first three of his or her fingers against the wrists of the patient (both wrist) one at a time or both at a time to feel rate of his or her pulse and to determine the flow of the patient’s vital essence known in TCM as the ( qi)
The left wrist of the patient has heart, liver and kidney pulses. While the the right wrist of the patient has lungs, spleen and kidney.
In short, the invisible presence of traditional medicine is here with us. People who have given up in search for better health have not done so because they have carefully examined the evidence of traditional medicine for themselves and have found orthodox medicine to be incomplete in dealing with some health challenges. Rather, many have been turned away by orthodox medicine’s failure to present the true health principles.
It is time we take our own health care needs into our own hands with traditional medicine before it becomes someone else’s responsibility.
BY DENNIS SETH KWAME NKRUMAH