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what is Classical Chinese Medicine?
Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) is a term used to differentiate its practice from that of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
TCM is the term used to refer to the modern form of medical acupuncture and herbal pharmacology currently practiced in mainland China and taught in many acupuncture colleges in North America & Europe.
CCM refers to the original system of medicine first presented in the Daoist alchemical and early Classical medical texts, notably the Huangdi Neijing (The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine) during the Han Dynasty (circa 206BCE-220CE). This work is composed of two texts, the Suwen (simple questions) & LingShu (Spiritual pivot). The former text sets down the theoretical and the Lingshu discusses acupuncture in great depth.
CCM was the system of Chinese medicine practiced in ancient China. Acupuncture forms the keystone of this system of medicine. This system however also includes a variety of other treatment methods such as massage, breath practices, moxibustion, herbal remedies, use of gemstones, meditation, early forms of aromatherapy, food energetics (diet) and exercise (neigong/qigong).
What are acupuncture channels/meridians?
"Meridians are simply roadmaps. They deal with the highways of life, and included in that highway is the way in which we are conducting our lives, in a physiological, as well as pathological fashion.”
So the acupuncture channels can be viewed as 'roadmaps' of external, internal and constitutional aspects of our life. They reflect the physiology, pathology and the transformative aspects of earthly life.
Everything in the known world system is subject to change; implicit to this is movement. Acupuncture channels convey movement. This movement of energy is termed Qi.
In health there is smooth and purposeful flow of Qi through all the layers of our mind and body. This harmonious flow connects us to the myriad of interrelated processes within ourselves, our environment and other living beings. So from this viewpoint all illness represents a dysfunction in the physiology or movement of Qi, a disconnection and isolation from the flow of Life.
Thus true health, like Qi, is not a place or destination, rather it is a state of meaningful adaptation to change, of flow. We can say that Qi is always seeking or moving towards health and wellbeing because it is always seeking to flow smoothly and purposefully.