Whole medical systems
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These 4 whole medical systems share some concepts:
- The body needs to be balanced physically, emotionally and spiritually to be healthy.
- Ill health often has more than one cause.
- The body has a vital energy reflecting its level of wellbeing.
- The body can heal itself.
- Health care is usually tailored to the individual.
Beliefs behind Chinese medicine
According to Chinese medicine, everyone has a vital energy or force in the body known as qi (pronounced “chee”).
When healthy, qi flows easily through the body’s meridians (pathways). If the flow of qi becomes blocked, the body’s harmony and balance is affected, causing disease.
Qi is made up of 2 opposite and complementary forces known as Yin and Yang. In Chinese medicine, the belief is that Yin and Yang are in everything. Yin is represented by water and Yang by fire. The balance between the 2 maintains harmony in your body, mind and the universe.
Chinese medicine also uses the theory of 5 elements – fire, earth, metal, water and wood – to explain how the body works. These elements correspond to particular organs and tissues in the body.
Meditation and Relaxation Podcast
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Dr David Joske, Clinical Haematologist, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and PathWest, Chairman and Founder Solaris Cancer Care Foundation, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The University of Western Australia, WA; Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA); Dr Robert Blum, Clinical Director, Cancer Services, Bendigo Health, NSW; Sally Brooks, Senior Pharmacist, Medicines Information, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Suzanne Grant, Senior Research Fellow, NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Prof Danforn Lim, Adjunct Professor and Advisory Board Member, NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, and Adjunct Professor, UTS, NSW; Christina Line, Statewide Services Senior Coordinator, Cancer Council WA; Jen McKenzie, Physiotherapist (Lymphoedema) and ESSA Accredited Exercise Physiologist, The McKenzie Clinic, QLD; Simone Noelker, Wellness Centre and Pastoral Care Manager, Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Nirzari Pandit, General Practitioner, RACGP Specific Interests Integrative Medicine Group, NSW; Georgie Pearson, Consumer; Cris Pirone, Counsellor, Cancer Council SA; Dr Elysia Thornton-Benko, Specialist General Practitioner, and UNSW Research Fellow, NSW; Kirsty Trebilcock, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA.
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