What is Classical Chinese Medicine?

Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) has her roots deeply entwined with the philosophies of Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. It has evolved from the classical teachings of the ancient Daoist medical texts of China. These include the, Huangdi Neijing – Su Wen, Tai Su, Ling Shu; the Nan Jing; Mai Jing, Shang Han Lun; Jia Yu Jing and the teachings from the Imperial Medical Academy of the Song Dynasty and the subsequent Four Great Masters of the Jin-Yuan period – Liu Wansu, Zhang Congzheng, Li Gao and Zhu Danxi.

ACCM is committed to enriching the practice of Acupuncture by reclaiming the heritage and legacy of Classical Chinese Medicine. Highlighted in this undertaking is the study of the ancient Daoist texts, the history of ideas and their influence in the development of styles of practice.

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In addition, Classical Chinese Medicine relies equally on a synthesis of laws of:

  • Yin and Yang
  • Acupuncture Pathways (Sinew, Luo. Primary, Divergent and Extraordinary Channel Systems)
  • Wu Xing (5 phases / resonances – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water)
  • Liu Qi (6 energetics – Tai Yang, Shao Yang, Yang Ming, Tai Yin, Jue Yin and Shao Yin)
  • Sanjiao Energetics ((production of Wei, Ying, Jing and Jing Shen, Xue, Jing Ye).

Strong emphasis is also placed on the aspect of Daoism that involves self-cultivation as a fundamental component of the evolution of a safe and competent clinician and health care provider. This self-cultivation comes through the discipline of Meditation, Qi Gong, Tai Chi and the study of Daoist philosophy. It is important that practitioners of Chinese medicine live the philosophy they teach.

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Many of the ancient Daoist medical texts have been lost or discarded over the millennia as China has undergone many cultural and political upheavals. For example, the rise of Neo-Confucianism in the eleventh century CE, where the old Daoist philosophy and medical texts were banned or destroyed and again in the nineteenth century with the introduction of Western Medicine in China when there was an attempt to “Westernize” Chinese medicine.

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Training in Chinese medicine in Ireland and most Western countries today typically focuses on the practice and principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This is the system of medicine that evolved following the Cultural Revolution in China.

During the development of TCM in the 1950’s many of the roots of the medicine were lost in an attempt to unite and systematize various styles and traditions in order to popularize and promote Chinese medicine in China and throughout the world. Less emphasis was placed on the emotional and spiritual components of illness and healing.