Holism and Spirituality in Chinese medicine

Chinese medicine cares for the complete person, and don’t focus only on treating the actual illness or disease. This indicates that the focus in Chinese medicine is holistic; taking many other aspects than the actual disease in consideration. The reductionist approach of the allopathic medicine is never used by a real practitioner of Chinese medicine. The view of the Chinese medical doctor is on the patient, his longevity and vitality. In other words everything is about the whole person including his body, mind and spirit, and little or nothing is really about the actual disease!


The origin of Chinese medicine might be seen in the Chinese philosophy and religion, and we need to add that scientific methods still in great fail to prove the mechanisms of Chinese medicine. This is why we need to dive a little into the origin of Chinese medicine to see if we might come up with some kind of information that might bring us closer to explain the effect. The origin to Chinese medicine is the Chinese spirituality, philosophy and religion. This has nothing to do with magic and superstition to do, and even less to do with mysticism as Western medicine like to name it; everything that cannot be proven does not exist.


China is one of the oldest countries on this planet we like to call earth. During the millenniums that have passed in this country we find a medical system develop slowly. Bringing with it what works and discarding what does not work. People that are involved in this slow process carry with themselves aspects from their culture as their religious belief and spirituality. Naturally some of these aspects stay, but only the aspects that serve a purpose in helping the complete person to a better life.


It is possible to trace some of these aspects to the spirituality in Chinese medicine. Most visible are the belief that the mind and body are ONE. It is impossible to separate these two aspects; they are inseparable. The result of this is a belief that a healthy body also depends on a healthy mind. To have a healthy mind you need to cultivate your spirit. Here we need to remember that the focus is on the patient and not on the disease, and the treatment cure persons and not diseases. This aspect of spirituality stands strong in Chinese medicine, and might be seen as the essence of understanding.


In most parts of the world disease are treated with a pill or an operation. The focus is directed toward the disease and not the person. Scientific research has created a type of blindness for complexity and origin. As the thought goes, the origin is the problem and the treatment treats the origin. Chinese medicine objects this way of thought. Another important aspect within Chinese medicine is prevention of disease. People should be treated before they get sick, and not after; making a good Chinese medical treatment being done while the person is 100% healthy in all ways. This is done through strengthening the body and mind. Prevention follows into the spiritual wellbeing of the patient. If a person feels uncomfortable with something on a spiritual level a Chinese medical doctor will find this equal important with whatever physical complaint. A common therapy will be to regulate physical imbalances and create a mind in peace; with few desires, a quiet mind and a sensation of ease. A patient with a harmony between body and mind is a healthy person. This is the essence of Holism.



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