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Thursday, November 14, 2002 - 19:30

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Dr. Claudine Merer

British Embassy Residence

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been practiced in China for more than 4000 years. From a primitive healing art, based on divination, it has become a very sophisticated system integrating in its principles the main philosophical ideas of Taoism and Confucianism and the thorough observation of nature and the cosmos.

The earliest medical classic Huangdi Neijing was compiled between 500 and 300 BC and contained a thorough description of the principles on which TCM is still based today: Yin and Yang, 5 elements, Qi and Blood, meridians and collaterals, pathology, diagnostic methods and treatment with herbal formulas, acupuncture and moxibustion, massage and exercises (Qi Gong, Taiji Chuan).

The aim of TCM is to maintain harmony in the mind and body, following the laws of nature. A human being is seen as a whole rather than a sum of separate entities. If there is a smooth circulation of QI (Energy) in the meridian system and if Yin and Yang are in balance, the person is in good health. If not, pathogenic factors (climatic or emotional) will invade the body and create disease. Restoring balance will restore health. Prevention is a very important part of TCM and it is also very efficient in chronic diseases as well as pain and functional problems as it will treat not only the manifestation of the disease but also its root.

Dr. Claudine Merer trained as a western medical doctor in France and the UK. She started studying TCM whilst living in the Far East (Brunei) in 1986 and then trained in acupuncture in Singapore and Shanghai. She completed her studies with a course of Chinese herbal medicine in London (1994). After practicing both western and Chinese medicine for many years, her main interest is now in TCM.