Welcome to Millwoods Acupuncture Centre

Millwoods Acupuncture Center
102, 2603 Hewes Way
Edmonton AB,   Canada

Phone: (780) 466-8683



Understand Traditional Chinese Medicine


Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a medical system that is originated and developed in China for more than two thousands of years.  It is commonly agreed that the principle medical concept is summarized well in a medical bible called <<Huang Di Nei Jing>>, a book, published two thousands of year ago. Many later famous TCM doctors in Chinese history admitted that their achievement entirely contributed to the idea in that book. It is still a big mystery that such a great book can be written in that years of history when the physical condition of  human life in China was so simple at that time.

Main points in the medical bible, for example, could be the followings:

(1). Human body is part of the nature. It follows the change in the nature physically and emotionally.  Health is the harmony of the human body with the nature. Disease is a condition that human body fails to match the nature. The nature means the season, the weather, the time of the day, the diet, the geographic location of the living, etc.

(2). The diseased condition in the body can be explained by the disorder of the nature, and it can also be corrected referring to change in the nature. For example, in summer season, we need cold material (drink cold water, have cold water bath, etc.) to reduce temperature. So in our body, whenever we have fever,  we can use herbs to reduce it, if the herbs have cooling effect and belong to cooling herbs.  In fall, the weather becomes colder since the Yang Qi starts to be store in the nature, so in our body, we can also promote the storage of the Yang Qi in the body. Many times, we may feel thirsty and dry in mouth, and it is so dry that drinking more water doesn’t help at all to calm down the thirsty.  So in TCM, we may use herbs that belong to warm group of the herbs, to solve this problem, since in nature, water could evaporate water into vapour to wet the mouth. Without warm (Yang Qi), the water (belongs to Yin) is dead water.

(3). It is possible that a diseased condition can be cured in a very simple way, and it could be so simple that it may sound as a mysterious, no matter how long time the disease has been, and how complex it is. What the doctor should do is to correct the diseased condition following the nature law in diagnosis and in treatment.

(4). The most important principle in maintaining health is to follow the nature, for diet, exercise, sexual life, personal relationship, and even for the business planning and completion.  No anything should be the more the better and no any diet is good for everyone.  For example, in TCM, not everyone should take garlic, nor it should be taken in every season of the year. The garlic belongs to “Fire” in TCM herbology and it creates hot in the body. So, if one has “fire” in stomach and intestine, and feels heart burning, gurgling or burping, constipation or bleeding from hermoriod, he/she should not take the garlic or garlic product. Also, it should not be taken too much in winter, since according to TCM understanding, our body is cold in the body surface in winter, but warm in winter. More garlic may burn the inside of the body to cause the above problem. This is the same principle to take ginger: it should be taken mostly in summer when the body surface is warm but the inside is cold.

Similarly, not every season of the year is suitable for heavy physical exersize, nor physical exercize is good at any stage of a disease. We, human being, are still a kind of animal on the earth. Almost all of the animals on the earth turn quiet, silent, or even into winter sleeping. They match the nature to absorb the warm, the Yang, the Qi, or the vital energy from the nature into their body, and keep it inside of the body for the use in next year. We, therefore accordingly, should keep less heavy physical exercise in winter. We should move around, of course, but not too much to create heavy sweating in winter. Winter belongs to water, links to kidney in the body. One of the functions of the kidney system in the body is to hold vital energy, to maintain health of the bone, hair, hearing, memory and sexual ability. Too much physical activity in winter disturbs the nature course in the body for the above function, so damages the kidney system. It could be strongly suspected that the high incidence rate of osteoporosis, reduced hearing ability, sexual ability, early loss of hair, poor memory ability in people in the modern life, might be due to the heavy physical and emotional activities in winter. Therefore, it is recommended that, from spring to summer, the exercise could be more and more, while from summer to fall, less and less. See, everything alive in the spring is “out”, and in the fall, starts to be “in”. We have to follow the same way.

(5). TCM doctor could be classified into three groups: the extremely excellent, excellent, and the ordinary doctor.  

The extremely excellent doctor could find the disease far more before it shows up to cause sufferings, therefore he could solve the problem with much simple ways.  They focus on the prevention of a disease: to prevent the disease show up clinically and to prevent it develop into next step. The role of the doctor, just as the meaning of the “doctor” in English, a teacher. He teaches his patient how to maintain health.

The ordinary doctor could find the disease when the disease is typical as described in textbook, have to use more physical instrument to make the diagnosis, and have to use much complex therapy to solve it. He or she may have lots of patients waiting for him/her to treat, but it means that he/she could not help his/her patients in early stage of the disease (this does not refer to the patients who did not come them before). He/she works in a “go and see” manner and works more like a technician to repair the damaged body, rather than a doctor.

The role of an excellent doctor is just between the above extremely excellent and the ordinary doctor.

(6). The philosophy in the TCM dealing with the health and wellness in human body is the same as the one that Chinese believes what a society, a country and a universe should be: in order and in harmony in every aspect. Chinese believes that Yin and Yang, the two major factors that constitute the nature and govern the movement of nature, should be balanced in human body as in a country. In human body, every organ, or organ system, should work together, in a manner of organized way, but not in a competition, or not in a way that one organ takes role of the others.

For example, Heart or Heart system is the main controller of the body function. Its role of governing circulation, to sense pain, to host our spirit, should not, or could not be shared by other organs in the body. Damage to the function of the Heart is therefore most life threatening.

 In an herbal formula, there must be one herb, that is the main ingredient of the herb formula, to determine the major function of the herbal formula. Reducing its content while increasing the amount of other herb ingredient, or adding a new ingredient, could largely change the main function of the herbal formula. (unfortunately this has been largely omitted by current TCM practitioners).

In a country, the king should be wise in his position, to balance relationship among the main officers, and give the order to run the country. If not so, the stability of the country is in danger.

Therefore, a doctor treat the human body to keep health is the same manner as the governor control a country.