One with Nature: Uniqueness of TCM (Part Two)
Harmony with nature is one of the most important concepts in Chinese philosophy as clearly shown in Taoism, and even Confucianism go snugly with it though it focuses on social issues in terms of interpersonal relations.
In Chinese it is called “tiantao”, the way of heaven, nature or universe. Man should not go against nature without being punished.
Chinese consider the world, man and history in terms of comprehensive harmony that permeates anything and everything. Everything is related to everything else in the Universe in the Way they should be: the tao.
Man is part of the Universe, or nature, and the ideal relationship between man and nature is harmony. Adaptation to nature and be one with it is the way. The human body, like the larger Universe, is an organic whole in itself operating in the same principles.
The concept of yin and yang, the five elements represent the attempts of the ancient Chinese trying to illustrate the most important human organs or systems with things they considered basic in nature.
In TCM, this basic philosophy result in several characteristics including adaptation to nature, using as much as nature can offer to solve health issues, moderation, and the concept of balance.
Disease is perceived as disharmony with nature and disharmony within the human body itself, and it happens when things happen against nature in terms of inadequacy or excess. A doctor’s responsibility is to help the patient regain harmony and balance by supplementing or discharge.
2500 years ago, the founder of Taoism said: “…. my desires alone differ from those of others—for I value drawing sustenance from the Mother (nature). The healing power of nature is unlimited. This is best represented by the fact that in TCM there are about 13000 medicinal materials directly taken from nature and different combinations forming more than a million formulas. This is one of the reasons why TCM treatments are mostly noninvasive and inexpensive.
Moderation is another aspect of TCM principle of in treatment. If it can help, TCM practitioners seldom adopt drastic measures. To go slow and steady is the approach. As the ultimate objective is to restore balance, drastic measures often throw the patient out of balance the other way round which might be even worse.
People often expect quick fix in health care and this is one of the principal reasons why they fail to take advantage of TCM treatment and think it does not work. “Quick fix” is often achieved by covering up the symptoms and it is really not a fix at all. To remove the root cause, it takes time. As you got it gradually, it has to go slowly. The famous saying in TCM is, disease comes all of sudden like collapsing of a mountain, and it goes away like unraveling a silk cocoon.