Eastern Medicine

Image for Eastern Medicine at White Oak Animal Hospital in Fairview, Tennessee


Eastern medicine, also called Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) is fairly new to the Western world.

However, in China, TCVM has helped animals for thousands of years.

You’ve probably heard of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) for humans.  TCVM is an adaptation of the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) used for animals.

Eastern medicine (aka TCM and TCVM) have been medical mainstays for thousands of years in the Eastern hemisphere.

In recent years, however, Eastern medicine has gained popularity in the United States.

Eastern Medicine & Food Therapy: picture of taijitu symbol

Whether using it as the sole treatment or in combination with Western Medicine, Eastern methods certainly have their place in the medical world.

What is Eastern Medicine?

The fundamentals of Taoism revolve around balance: balance within the body, balance with others, balance with nutrition, and balance with nature.

Five fundamental branches achieve this balance: Acupuncture, Herbal Therapy, Food Therapy, Tui-Na, and Qi-Gong.

Veterinary medicine uses four of these branches to help our patients heal and maintain balance. Qi-Gong is a form of exercise and is not applied in the veterinary field.

To understand the basics of Chinese medicine, you must first understand some basics form the Daoist worldview.

The Daoist worldview sees the body as a microcosm of the larger surrounding universe.

In other words, cosmic laws and forces governing the external world also govern the body’s internal environment.

For example, life-energy or “Qi” is an innate force of the universe.

Likewise, “Qi” is also a fundamental body force, driving the body’s every action and transformation.

Another example is the Yin-Yang theory. The Yin-Yang theory is central to Daoist philosophy. It is also very prominent in Chinese Medicine.

The Yin-Yang theory describes how opposing forces of the universe transform each other and characterize physiological function and disease.

The Ancient Chinese also observed yearly cycles through the five seasons (spring, summer, late summer, autumn, and winter) which correspond to the Five Elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water).

Just like our Earth cycles through its five seasons, the body, also passes through the same five phases in its own life cycle.

Interested in learning how Traditional Chinese Medicine can help your pet?

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