about Oriental Medicine
The term Oriental medicine refers to the healing traditions of Asia. These medical systems have evolved over centuries of practice and due to encounters with other cultures. In the West today, Oriental medicine comes under the umbrella of complementary or alternative medicine, although in Asia they are often practiced alongside biomedicine. What distinguishes Oriental medicine is that it is based on large bodies of traditional knowledge and are influenced by religious philosophies such as Buddhism, Hinduism or Taoism.
Although they are distinct and complete systems, they share similar principles and practices. Oriental medicine is based on various ancient theoretical frameworks; such as Yin-Yang, the Five Elements, the meridian systems or the bodily humours. They consider illness to be a combination of physical, emotional and environmental factors. All the processes of the human body are seen to be interrelated and in constant interaction with the natural world. Health is therefore the result of finding balance within the body and living in harmony with the seasons and one's environment. The traditional systems of tongue and pulse diagnosis or urine analysis are employed, which give a detailed indication of a person's internal functioning. The patient is viewed as a whole, although presenting symptoms help the practitioner to understand and treat disease. There is also a large emphasis on preventative medicine and the maintenance of health in the broadest sense of the word.