Classical Chinese Medicine
Classical Chinese Medicine invites you to explore the essence of Oriental medicine from a perspective that goes far beyond the institutionalized phenomenon presently known as “TCM” (traditional Chinese medicine). Since the 1970s, the TCM process of packaging the multi-faceted roots of Chinese medicine into the sterile confines of a highly standardized model has been eagerly absorbed by educational institutions in Europe and America, and is rapidly becoming the dominant face of Oriental medicine today.
While TCM represents the recent marriage between local Chinese resources with the methodology of scientific materialism, Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) remains firmly committed to its ancient roots. CCM is a science in its own right, embedded in the mytho-poetic mode of observing and describing nature, which linked the spheres of macro- and microcosm in ancient China and became preserved in a set of works honoured as “the classics.” The primary distinguishing feature of CCM is thus its way of thinking—why and when and how does one chose to apply a therapeutic modality, rather than insisting that the use of acupuncture and herbs alone defines a practitioner of the traditional art of Chinese medicine. CCM does not advocate a blind adherence to things past, but embraces the classical spirit of utilizing time-honoured modes of holistic thought in an ever changing space-time environment.
The materials presented in this section seek to foster awareness about the multi-dimensional depth of Chinese medicine, as well as the political mechanisms that seek to homogenize, standardize, and effectively limit these time-honored resources in the TCM model. The intention of these articles is to inspire a reevaluation of the direction and the fundamental convictions that we set for ourselves, both as providers and recipients of Oriental medicine. Otherwise, the natural beauty and profundity of Chinese medicine and other ancient medical traditions may quietly fade away, and we may become thoroughly entrapped in the spiritless mechanisms of state agencies, insurance companies, and most of all, our modern mind that has been conditioned to fancy a linear and uniform approach to all aspects of knowledge.
As the materials document, this crisis of Chinese medicine has recently elicited the call for a renaissance of classical values by a group of international scholar physicians. At the heart of this call is the credo that first-rate clinical results and true integration between ancient and modern medical traditions can only be achieved if the philosophical foundations of this medicine are transmitted in their original depth and complexity, and if the diagnostic and therapeutic modalities of Chinese medicine are respected and transmitted as a science in its own right.
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