The Mysteries of Oriental Medicine


Two of the world’s oldest, richest, and most successful forms of what can be classified as oriental medicine are rooted in China and India. Both traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda differ sharply from the approach used in modern Western therapy. Western therapy adopts an objective approach which first establishes the name of the disease and then prescribes treatment specific to that disease – treating the disease and not the patient. TCM and Ayurvedic practitioners give special attention to the patient’s complaints and pains and then prescribe a general treatment on a subjective basis before even identifying the disease by name – treating the patient and not the disease. Western medicine emphasizes diagnosis while oriental medicine systems emphasize treatment.


Qi (Chi)

What is Qi?

Qi (pronounced “chee” and sometimes spelled “chi”) can be defined as the “force” or “vital substance” that animates and controls the observable functions of living beings. The basic foundation for Asian medicine is that this vital substance flows through the body on channels known as “meridians” that connect all of our major organs.

According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced or blocked. Symptoms of various illnesses are often believed to be the product of disrupted, blocked, or unbalanced qi movement through the body's meridians, as well as deficiencies or imbalances of qi in the various organs. Traditional Chinese medicine often seeks to relieve these imbalances by adjusting the circulation of qi in the body using a variety of therapeutic techniques. Some of these techniques include herbal medicines, special diets, physical training regimens (qigong, tai chi chuan, and other martial arts training), moxibustion, massage to clear blockages, and acupuncture.


Lesley Tierra teaches about “Chi” in this video clip:

In this section you will find a series of DVDs that were developed as part of the curriculum for the East West School of Planetary Herbology. Michael and Lesley Tierra define Planetary Herbology as the study and practice of medicinal herbalism combining Western, east Indian Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese healing systems. You can get more information about the East West School of Planetary Herbology and oriental medicine - click here!

Preview these DVDs teaching about TCM and Ayurveda

"The Practice of Ayurveda" with Candis Cantin

"Barefoot Doctor" with Jennifer Zappin

"Cooking with Herbs" with Benjamin Zappin

"Differential Diagnosis" with Lesley Tierra

"Five Element Theory" with Miles Coleman

"Foundation Theory and Eight Principles" with Lesley Tierra

"Tongue and Pulse Diagnosis" with Michael Tierra

East West School of Planetary Herbology Foundation Series complete set

What are doshas?

In Ayurveda, there are three basic principles or humours known as tridosha. The Three humours are known as vata, pitta, and kapha (individually called doshas) and govern all biological, psychological and physiopathological functions of the body, mind and conciousness. The primary requirement to treat a disease is to understand these three humours and their relationships. When the tridosha work in harmony and function in a balanced manner the result is good nourishment and feelings of well-being in an individual. However, in cases of imbalance and disharmony within or between them, the result is disease or poor health.

Learn all about tridosha from Candis Cantin in her DVD "The Practice of Ayurved".


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