Expression of 14 meridians, by noted Chinese physician Hua Shou.Expression of 14 meridians, by noted Chinese physician Hua Shou.
Time c. 2697 BCE to 2nd century BCE
Title Oldest known book on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

The first Yellow Emperor, Huang Di, is said to be the author of the first classic work on Traditional Chinese Medicine (c. 2697). The text itself is compiled by unknown authors in 200 BC. The first herbal medicine and acupuncture needles appear around 2500 BCE.

Based on Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, TCM sees health as harmony within the body as well as between the body and the universe. The main disciplines in TCM are acupuncture, herbology, tui na (massage and manipulation), diet therapy and therapeutic exercises like Tai Qi and Qi Gong.

Thoughts and feelings are considered vital to maintaining bodily health. TCM states that behaviors and relationships directly impact health. It is impossible to sever the connectivity between spirit, body, and mind.

The body is considered part of nature. To be healthy, the microcosm (body) needs to be in balance, as does the world around it. Balance is maintained through TCM methods like acupuncture and massage, as well as mental and spiritual development. These methods keep the Qi or life force moving freely through the body. TCM believes that normal aging is not necessarily accompanied by illness.

Compassion for others and personal development are seen as important elements for maintaining health. Cultivating these qualities fosters harmony, and therefore health, within the person, family, and community.

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