Volume 4 Issue 2

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Page 17 of 39

Traditional Chinese Medicine A P P L I C AT I O N A N D VA L U E F O R P E T S Nail bed analysis in people reveals a lot of informa on regarding health and organ balance, but it is not a tool used with dogs and cats because animals do not have the characteris c lunulae (the half-moon at the base of the nail) that is analyzed in people. There are, however, many other aspects of Tradi onal Chinese Medicine (TCM) that do offer valuable diagnos c informa on. TCM is an ancient Chinese system that sees the body as being "in balance", just as nature is "in balance" with the universe. Using TCM, the focus is on recognizing dysfunc onal pa erns and disrup ons in the harmonious flow of energy between the organs. In western medicine, the body is divided into organ systems (ears/nose/throat, GI, heart, renal, liver etc) and there are tons of books containing the names of a gazillion diseases. In alterna ve medicine, all dis-ease is either an excess, a deficiency or some combina on, and the body is viewed as an en re en ty, each part integrally associated with and affec ng the others. TCM uses many "clues" to help us figure out the imbalance(s). Tradi onal Chinese Medicine describes 5 elements (Earth, Metal, Water, Wood and Fire) and relates them to the body's organ systems. The 5 elements represent a dynamic, ever changing rela onship of flow. As fire burns wood, it creates more earth. Earth gives rise to mountains, and combined with pressure and me creates metal ores. The metals separate, crea ng cracks for water to flow. The water feeds the trees crea ng more wood to feed the fire, and so the cycle con nues. When there is an imbalance (such as a flood or wild fires) it affects the other elements. These elements represent a complex system of checks and balances that explain health and dis-ease. Earth is linked to diges on and is related to the stomach, spleen and pancreas. Metal is linked to respira on and elimina on and is related to the lungs and large intes ne. Water is linked to the plumbing and is related to the kidneys and urinary bladder. Wood is linked to processing toxins and is related to the liver and gallbladder. Fire is linked to the circula on of blood, food and hormones and is related to the heart and small intes nes. Page 18 | Abby's Magazine -

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