Chinese Medicine, 2010, 1, 84-90
doi:10.4236/cm.2010.13016 Published Online December 2010 (
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. CM
The Foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Patrick Kim Cheng Low, Sik-Liong Ang
Universiti Brunei Darussa lam Brunei Darussalam, Brun ei
Received August 31, 2010; revised September 17, 2010; accepted Septem b e r 30, 2010
In this paper, the authors examine and interpret the concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) whom
the Chinese believes and practices for so many centuries. The authors also explain the ancient Chinese con-
cepts of Chi and Tao (Yin and Yang) which are the foundation of the TCM. This paper also seeks to discuss
the ways of attaining a healthy body with the clarity of mind as well as to demonstrate the benefits of such
healthy lifestyle.
Keywords: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Chinese Concepts of Tao (Yin and Yang) and Chi,
Meditation, The Yellow Emperor’s Canons of Internal Medicine, The Tao of Revitalization
1. Introduction
Medicine-the science of healing the sick has been prac-
ticed for thousands of years. Even the earliest human had
used plants and herbs as medicines and had tried simple
surgical procedures, such as putting splint on broken
bones. Over the last two hundred years, we have made
huge progress in the clinical and surgical procedures in
medicine [1]. Chinese medicine which is also considered
as an alternative medicine is gradually being accepted
and is practiced even in the Western world.
1.1. The Paper’s Aim & Objectives
In this paper, the aim and objectives are to illustrate the
concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which
is of paramount importance for one to achieve a healthy
lifestyle. The authors interpret and explain that the an-
cient Chinese concepts of Chi and Tao (Yin and Yang)
are the foundation of the TCM. The paper also seeks to
discuss the ways of attaining a healthy body with the
clarity of mind as well as to demonstrate the benefits of
such healthy lifestyle.
1.2. What is Chinese Medicine?
Chinese Medicine is also called Traditional Chinese
Medicine (TCM). It includes a range of traditional medi-
cine practices originating in China. TCM practices in-
clude treatments such as Chinese herbal medicine,
acupuncture, dietary therapy, a nd also both the Tui Na and
Shiatsu massages. Chi Kung (Qigong) and Tai Chi
movements (Taijiquan) are also closely associated with
TCM. TCM has been practiced by the Chinese for thou-
sands of years and is rooted in meticulous observation of
how nature, the cosmos, and the human body are inter-
acting. Major theories include; Tao (Yin and Yang), Chi,
the Five Phases (Wu Xing), the human body Meridian/
hannel system and Zang Fu organ theory.
1.3. What is Tao? What is Yin and Yang
Lao Tzu, was one of the earliest philosopher in the Chi-
nese history, who describes the marvel of Tao as an
evolving force that op erates throughout the un iverse. Tao
is the first cause of the universe. Lao T zu said that Tao is
‘the way’ and he emphasized this in the first verse of his
Tao Teh Ching [2] that:
(老子道德經, 第一章)
Translated as:
The Tao that can be said is not the everlasting Tao.
If a name can be named, it is not the everlasting name.
That which has no name i s the ori gin of heaven and earth;
That which has a name is the mother of al l thi n gs.
(Lao Tzu’s Tao Teh Ching, Verse.1) [3]
P. K. C. Low ET AL.
Therefore Tao is always without a name and that it is
the origin of heaven and earth. Tao can also be said to be
the “Absolute” that it can be said to be the movement
and a stillness without a beginning, Yin and Yang (also
known as Tai Chi) are things that can be said to be with-
out a beginning (Cleary 2003).
The Tai Chi (Ultimate Principle of Existence) in-
volved “The two dynamic powers” (the white space
represents the Yang and the black space represents the
Yin) exists in equilibrium and from which a coordinated
and vigorous force is produced. [4]
This classic symbol for Yin and Yang appears like a
pair of fish swimming in a circle around each other; the
tail of one is formed from the head of the other. Here, we
can see that Yin-Yang are born out of each other and are
transformed into each other. Each of the Yin-Yang con-
tains the seed of the other; there is a tiny seed circle of
dark Yin contained in the white part of Yang, as there is a
seed circle of white Yang contained in the darkness of
Yin. Tao is the force, which flows throug h all lives. Each
person is to nurture the breathing or what is also known
as the integral life force (“Chi ” or “Qi”) that has been
given to him/her. Unlike Western thinking, time is not
linear but cyclical. And overall, each and every Taoism
believer’s goal is to align him(her)self, by having a bal-
ance (the perfect sense of balance is embodied in the idea
of Yin-Yang) or being harmonious with the Tao. In the
universe, there should always be a balance of nature.
Ying (female) and Yang (male) are always at work, and
there should be a good balance between them; and hence
the avoidance of extremes. This is indeed what the con-
cept of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which is
anchored in Taoism roots, is based on. The fact that one
who knows how to maintain good health, one would al-
ways carry out one’s daily life in accordance to nature.
Thus, one would need to follow the principle of Yin and
Yang and keeps in conformity with the art of predicting
the consequences of what would happen based on the
interaction of Yin and Yang. By doing so, one would be-
able to modulate or transform one’s life in harmony with
nature. By way of recuperating the essence and the vital
energy, one would then master and practice the way of
Figure 1. Tai Chi diagram.
maintaining harmony as well as good health. For in-
stance, if one’s behavior in daily life is kept in regular
patterns including one’s food and drink intake, its fixed
amount, as well as one’s daily activities where one
would not overwork one’s body. And if, one is also
based on Taoism pr actices, it is taken that one should be
aware and, in fact, be sensitive of the balance of Yin and
Yang in nature. One can also take it as axiomatic that in
the morning after a good night sleep, one is often re-
freshed and energized. In the morning when the Yang
(Chi or energy) is at its high and at its abundance, one
becomes naturally active, thereby, as one uses one’s en-
ergy, one gets tired. One needs to balance the Yang with
Yin (taking rest or naps) during the day so that one
maintains one’s energ y level (This is very true when one
gets older). When the evening comes, the Yin (Chi) be-
comes abundant or overwhelming; one then has to con-
serve the Yang energy as well in balance to be ready for
rest. If the Yang energy is used in a way that it is in an
extreme manner, one’s whole body is not in balance and
one becomes totally exhausted so much so that one may
not even rest well. One, thus, needs to follow the way of
nature and be in balance. Also, in the same way, one
cannot pull the seedling to assist its growth. Thus, the
Chinese saying: “to pull seedlings to help them grow”,
meaning to work hard in a self-defeating way – or going
against nature for quick results; and this is foolish. The
Western equivalent here is that of “penny wise and
pound foolish”. And in fact, in everything, nature must
take its course. And by understanding the balance of Yin
and Yang in nature with regards to the daily living, one
could live a healthier life in body and in sp irit.
1.4. Chi and the Balance of Yin and Yang
Western Medicine is different from the TCM because the
TCM has a concept of Chi as a form of energy. It is be-
lieved that this energy exists in all things (living and
non-living) including air, water, food and sunlight. Chi is
said to be the unseen vital force that nourishes one’s
body and sustains one’s life. It is also believed that an
individual is born with an original amount of Chi at the
beginning of one’s life and as one grows and lives, one
acquires Chi from eating and drinking, from breathing
the surrounding air and also from living in one’s envi-
ronment. An individual would become ill or dies if on e’s
Chi in the body is imbalanced or exhausted.
When one studies the principle of the Life Force; the
Chi and the Tao (Yin and Yang); one would understand
how this Life Force manifests in nature. Through
self-cultivation, one basically enriches one’s Chi for op-
timum health and long evity. This h appens wh en one sub-
scribes to this Life Force from nature that flows freely
into one’s mind and body. However, this requires one to
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86 P. K. C. Low ET AL.
live freely from desires, worries and emotions. To live
freely, one has to detach from the worldly possessions.
For the instance, money is to be spent, there is to-ing and
fro-ing, thus a going and a coming of it; and there is a
non-attachment to the money or the material things for
better flow. Furthermore, one is required to discipline
oneself by having a proper diet, sleep and exercise so
that one would not disturb and interrupt with the move-
ment of Life Force which may cause the Chi to dissipate
in one’s body. This dissipati o n of Chi would result one to
fall into sickness, disease, physical and mental suf ferings.
It is the Taoist’s belief that the practice of Chi Kung , Tai
Chi movements and meditation helps one to harmonize
one’s Life force with one’s envi ronment and nature.
Stationary and Moving: One would like to ask this
question: Why, for clarity of the mind, do both the Chi
and the balance of stationary (Yin) and moving (Yang)
are so important?
First of all, take note of it: When one is asleep, one’s
body is heavy and resting (stationary) and not moving. In
fact, the body takes time to recreate, rejuvenate its
strength or regenerate energies for the body, the store-
house of energy (Chi).
Doctors normally advise one to have enough sleep
(usually 6-8 hours) and younger children require more
sleep than adult (some more than 12 hours) for growth and
tissue repairs. When one is short of sleep, one‘s mind is
not clear. One may feel groggy; in fact, one normally feels
tired and one cannot think straight or properly since the
lack of sleep affects one’s focus and concentration. If one
sleeps too much, (one feels “heavy”) one also feels drowsy
and cannot think effectively as well .
When one is awake, one’s body feels lighter, and one
can move from one place and another, by spending on its
kinetic energy. On one hand, too many activities will
make one’s body and mind feel tired and on the other
hand, too few activities will also make the body and the
mind feel bored.
So it is meant that there should be an optimum point
when sleep (potential energy) and being awakened (ki-
netic energy) are balanced for the body and the mind to
be effective and active.
As everything is centered on the nature, Taoism en-
courages man to take the path of nature because the path
which nature itself would follow is not for human inter-
ference or interventions. Water flows downwards and
that it is the natural flow or spontaneously natural. Forc-
ing one’s way against nature, going against the grain,
forcing nature to bend to one’s will is not good as it
harms oneself. But by relaxing and allow nature to go its
way, everything will fall into place. It is wu wei er wu bu
wei-by doing nothing, everything is done.
2. Chi Kung (Qigong) for Good Health
The practice of Chi Kung (Qigong) is to regulate and con-
trol the Chi within the body. Chi Kung practice involves
the manipulation and balance of the Chi with in the practi-
tioner’s body. According to Taoism, the regulation of Chi
is carried out through the three interconnected components:
the Mind, the Body and the Spirit. For the Taoist, the
training of the mind and the body is through meditation,
contemplation and physical exercises. It sometimes also
includes the ingestion of Chinese herbs to regulate one’s
Chi within the body. The development of Traditional
Chinese Medicine has added more detailed to the Chi
within the human body. In this system, Chi travels through
the body along twelve main meridian channels and nu-
merous smaller branches and tributaries. These main me-
ridians also correspond to twelve main organs: the lung,
large intestines, stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine,
urinary bladder, kidney, liver, gallbladder, pericardium,
and the ‘‘triple warmer,’’ which represents the entire torso
region. The amount and flow of Chi is affected by one’s
emotional state which is ultimately related to the Mind, the
Body and the Spirit. To put it simply, most Chi Kung
practitioners use this concept of the proper Chi flow
through those meridians as a basic prem ise.
2.1. Tai Chi for Good Health
Maintaining the balance of the Yin-Yang equilibrium is
also th e con cept of Tai Chi and can be illustrated in prac-
tice by the Tao practitioners in the Tai Chi movements.
Today, Tai Chi becomes a form of relaxation or de-
stressing exercise which is sometimes known as the
“Moving Meditation”. This is developed by a Taoist
monk during the thirteenth century in ancient China. The
principle of Tai Chi movement is based on the philoso-
phy of Lao Tzu (Tao Teh Ching) and the Chinese medi-
cine (TCM). In practicing Tai Chi, one performs certain
prescribed movements and one must constantly maintain
an upright and naturally b alance posture (central equilib-
rium) during the process. Hence, movements which are
too extreme resulting in the out of balance body posture
are avoided in this exercise. By doing so, it is said that
Tai Chi would help to de-stress one’s body. Practicing
Tai Chi regularly is said to be beneficial because the re-
laxation exercise also promotes steady breathing, regu-
lates blood circulation, and relieves tension by doing
gentle movement of the body. Meditation in motion is
also believed to help in refreshing and replenishing one’s
energy to its normal level.
2.2. Meditation for Good Health
The tradition of resting in silence of an undistracted or
clear mind is thousands of years old. It is practiced by
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. CM
P. K. C. Low ET AL.
seekers in all of the world’s spiritual traditions, as well
as in hospitals and even corporate boardrooms. Medita-
tion has been used in the East, but only became popular
in the West in the 1960 s, after the British pop group,
the Beatles, visited India. Scientists now agree that
meditation could raise the levels of important chemicals
in our bodies that help to fight off infections [5]. A very
simple meditation technique that one can adopt is to find
a stable and comfortable posture so that one can become
aware of one’s body in the present moment. To do so,
one can sit on a chair with one’s feet flat on the floor; or
sit cross legged on a meditation cushion. What matters
is that one has a sense of stability, comfort and ease. The
next step is to bring one’s awareness into the present
moment and one becomes aware of one’s environment
and the sounds around oneself. Take a few deep breaths
and relax and later on, one can then simply become
aware of how the breath breathes itself in its own
rhythms. This simple meditation exercise will help one
to be fully aware of the present moment and minimize
one’s mind from wandering off to other thoughts or
things. The art of the meditation is to see the wandering
of the mind and to acknowledge it in the moment, and
then to return to one’s breathing. In some ways, medita-
tion is a remembering or self-remembering and it is a
process of waking up, of being with the breath or the
body, and then to return to one’s usual way when one is
not in the meditating mode. As we know that thinking,
planning, remembering and worrying often take up a lot
of times in our living, and it is very important that we
should understand the condition of our body so that we
can perform in an optimum way; it is with constant
practice of meditation and live more fully with lesser
thinking and worrying that we would be able to have a
healthy body and a healthy mind. [6]
In ancient China, scholars were very good in following
the nature, waking up when the rooster crowed. They sit
calmly meditating when the sun was rising; it was felt
that this gave them energy for the day. Meditative
awareness really reduces tension and heals (re-charges)
one’s body; Meditation quiets or calm one’s minds and
gently opens one’s heart; it steadies one’s spirit. [6] After
reading and writing for a long time, the scholars walked
into the open air admiring nature. When it is time for
them to sleep, they got rid of any worries by telling
themselves not to ponder on them; they cleared their
mind of any concerns. Such ways, attitude or conscious-
ness enabled them to live or experienced less stress, if
not, no stress at all.
2.3. TCM Based on Yellow Emperor’s Canons
of Internal Medicines
The Yellow Emperor said, “Since ancient times, it is
considered that the existence of men has depended on the
interactions of Yin and Yang energies (Chi) in various
proportions and in many ways, and that human life is
based on Yin-Yang principles. As all things on earth and
in the universe communicate through the Yin-Yang prin-
ciples, therefore, human being can be considered as a
small universe because the human body has everything
that the universe has; all follows the Yin and Yang prin-
ciples…” [7].
Extending this conc ept further, the Emperor remarked,
“Besides these Yin and Yang energies are the foundation
of life, the survival of men also depends on the five ele-
ments on earth (metal, wood, water, fire and earth), it is
the so called, “Life depend on five”. The five elements
further correspond to the three Yins (cold, dryness and
wetness) and the three Yangs (wind, fire and summer
heat). It is so called, “Energies depend on the three”. If
one cannot balance these elements and the Yin-Yang en-
ergies, and one violates the principles of preserving
health frequently, one’s health will b e hurt by the imbal-
ance of the Yin and Yang energies or the negative factors
and would contract disease…” For instance, based on the
concept that the human energy is connected with that of
the universe and that during the times when there is no
strong wind or heavy rain storm, the human body will be
fresh and cool in a calm environment. If one can keep
one’s spirit quiet by refraining from the emo tions of over
joy or excessive anger, one would have a peaceful mind
as clear as a blue sky. By this time, one’s Yang energy is
substantial to gu ard the b ody ag ains t an y n egative factors
and one would attain a healthy body. Similarly, if one
has the ability of adapting oneself to the sequence and
variations of any environment such as the four seasons,
one would be able to preserve one’s health in a good way.
Conversely, when one is in extreme anger, the Yang en-
ergy and the blood would rush upward to the head. If the
blood stagnates in the chest due to constant anger and
emotional upset; the blood circulation and the vital en-
ergy would be obstructed. This would result in an un-
healthy body and often one would contract sickness such
as high blood pressure or a heart attack.
As one can clearly see, Yin and Yang are always in
constant dynamic motion maintained by a continuous
adjustment of the relative levels of Yin and Yang. When
either Yin or Yang are out of balance, they naturally af-
fect each other and change their proportions to achieve a
new balance. And there are four possible ways in which
a Yin-Yang imbalance can occur as illustrated in the dia-
gram below:
1) Preponderance or Dominance of Yin
When Yin is excessive, it induces the decrease of Yang
and it also means that the Yin consumes Yang.
2) Preponderance of Yang
When Yang is excessive, it induces the decrease of Yin
and it also means that Yang consumes Yin.
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88 P. K. C. Low ET AL.
3) Weaknesses of Yin
When Yin is weak, Yang will be seen in apparent ex-
cess. This apparent excess is only in relation to the defi-
cient quality of Yin.
4) Weaknesses of Yang
When Yang is weak, Yin will be seen in apparent ex-
cess. Similarly, this apparent excess is only in relation to
the deficient quality of Yang.
Therefore, in these illustrations, it is v ery critical to be
able to see the differences between the two states: the
preponderance of Yin and the weakness of Yang. This is
because on one state it is the truly excess Yin and on the
other state it is the weakness of Yang that Yin is seen as
apparent excess. Similarly, this differentiation applies
between the prep onderance of Yang an d the weakness of
Yin. [8]
It can be said that the theory of Yin and Yang is fun-
damental in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and
every physiological process and every symptom or sign
of a human body can be analyzed in the light of the
Yin-Yang theory. In other words, TCM sees illness as an
imbalance in the patient’s whole system. It tries to get to
the underlying root cause of a health problem. The aim is
to heal the person’s mind, body and sp irit rather than just
his or her sore throat or stomach ache. [11] Ultimately,
Figure 2. Preponderance of Yin and Yang.
Figure 3. Weaknesses of Yin and Yang.
every treatment modality is aimed at 1) improving Yang,
2) improving Yin, 3) reducing excess Yang and reducing
excess Yin, and understanding the application of the the-
ory of Yin-Yang theory is of great importance.
2.4. The Tao of Revitalization-The Chinese Sys-
tem of Self-Healing
To maintain, nourish, revitalize and prolong our lives, it
is said that we should spend our lives simply to fulfill
two basic nee ds namely :
1) Ingestion (eating and drinking)
2) Motion
a) Mind “Movement” (Thinking)
b) Body “Movement” (Breathing and internal
organs and external limbs movement.
These two basic cond itions if not fu lly or pro perly sat-
isfied will affect one’s life. For instance, if a person is
not given sufficient nutr ients through eating and drinking,
his/her body will not be healthy and his/her life will
shorten. Similarly, if one does not exercise mentally or
physically, one’s body will weaken. It was with these
considerations that the ancient Taoists created the Tao of
Revitalization which is the method of thinking, breathing,
and exercising for one to maintain good health. [9] It is
believed that a human body is a perfectly well-balanced,
self-regenerative and self-protecting organism and that
the body itself can respond to natural healing treatments
instead of drug intakes. The Tao of revitalization is a
series of mental and physical movements, almost effort-
less internal exercises that can energize the body's own
life-force to repel fatigue, illness and disease and preven t
them from reoccurring. Amongst all the internal exer-
cises recommended for good health, a very simple series
of physical and mental exercises that one can adopt are
the five animal exercises which are related to the five
Nowadays, we are living in a world full of stress for
the reason that everything we do has to be fast in an ur-
gent manner to meet daily targets and in most ways, we
are living and working in a competitive, rush, rush world.
Every day, most of us have little time to exercise. To
spend less yet quality time to relieve or reduce stress in
an efficient way, the authors here recommend these sim-
ple exercises based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine
(TCM) which had been practiced by the ancient Taoists a
long time ago; thus, although they are old, they indeed
bear modern relevance.
2.4.1. The Five Animal Exercises
Taoists designed the five exercises after five animals
whose movements were proven effecti ve for the heali ng of
human beings and they were the dragon (fire), bear (earth),
eagle (metal), monkey (water) and tiger (wood). By imi-
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. CM
P. K. C. Low ET AL.
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. CM
tating their characteristic movements human beings can
alleviate the imbalanced functioning of their o rgans.
2.4.2. The Dragon Exercise (Fire Element)
The purpose of the Dragon Exercise is to instill the
characteristics of the dragon into the mind and body of
the practitioner. This exercise affects the mind by help-
ing to overcome feelings of depression, anger, hostility,
and all the anxieties brought on by being overwhelmed
by adverse circumstances, for the dragon, flying through
the heavens, is above all mundane concern.
One begins the exercise by standing still. Then, one
takes a few deep breaths while imagining as vividly as
possible that one is a dragon with glowing eyes, open
mouth with fangs, glistening emerald scales, curling tail,
paws splayed showing long claws. Then, raising one
foot, assume the pose and character of a dragon. While
imagining that one’s hands are claws, hold one arm up
with claws down and hold the other arm down with
claws up. As this is not a formalized pose, a certain
degree of freedom of expression is allowed within the
confines of the image. Hold the pose as long as one
holds the image w ithout st raining. On e repeats as many
times as one comfortably can. The most important as-
pect of this and all the other exercises is the union of
the body and the mind. If the image fades or the mind
wanders during the pose, one stops and begins again.
No benefit will be obtained unless the body and the
mind are in union.
Since the dragon represents the fire element, the physi-
cal effect of its ex ercis e is to br ing equ ilibrium to the heart,
blood vessels, and absorption in the sm all intestines.
2.4.3. The Bear Exercise (Earth Element)
The power and strength of the bear becomes evident
when it stands and walks on its hind legs. In this position,
the most prominent physical feature of the bear also be-
comes obvious-its stomach, which protrudes outward and
prevents the bear from walking straight.
One begins this exercise by standing still. One takes a
few deep breaths while visualizing oneself as a bear.
Then with legs stiff, stomach pushed out, arms sloping
out in front, walk slowly forward. As one does this, one
will feel the movement of one’s abdomen and the stimu-
lation of the area of the spleen-pancreas. One continues
walking this way as long as the image remains fixed in
one’s mind. One repeats as many times as is convenient.
The bear is associated with the earth element, and so this
exercise affects the enzyme production of the spleen-
pancreas and the functioning of the stomach muscle. This
exercise is therefore recommended for bad digestion,
hyper-and hypoglycemia, and diabetes.
2.4.4. The Eagle Exercise (Metal Element)
To the ancient Taoists the flying eagle represented the
spirit because of its god-like qualities - silence, serenity,
and invisibility. The eagle is also an acco mplished hunter.
It soars effortlessly to great heights, and its sharp eyes
are alert to all details of the landscape below. The eagle
manifests its attributes of intelligence, alertness, and ease
when it hunts.
One begins the Eagle Exercise by standing still. One
takes a few deep breaths while imagining oneself as an
eagle. When the visualization is complete, one begins to
walk slowly with one’s arms held out to the side in a
slant, or with one’s hands gently clasped behind oneself.
As one walk, imagine one is an eagle, effortlessly float-
ing through the blue sky, untouchable, divine. One’s
body should be very relaxed, but one’s mind and eyes
should be very alert, noticing everything without focusing
on anyone thing in particular. One continues the exercise
as long as the mind does not wander. If it does, one stops
and begins again. Though this exercise can be performed
anytime, anywhere, it is especially effective if done out-
doors, after the even ing meal.
The eagle is associated with the metal element, so the
Eagle Exercise stimulates the lungs, skin, and the large
2.4.5. The Monkey Exercise (Water Element)
To the ancient Taoists the monkey epitomized boundless
activity, curiosity, and free will. The monkey is con-
stantly active, whether on the ground, swinging in the
trees, or leaping playfully about, uninhibited by any cul-
tural conventions.
One begins by standing or sitting. One takes a few deep
Table 1. Shows the relationship between the exercises and the organs.
Elements Fire Earth Metal Water Wood
Exercise Dragon Bear Eagle Monkey Tiger
Heart Small Intestine
Triple Heater ( Endo-
crine) Heart Constrictor
(Blood Vessels)
Stomach Muscle Lungs Large Intes-
tine Skin
Liver Gallbladder
P. K. C. Low ET AL.
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. CM
breaths while imagining oneself as a monkey. When the
visualization is complete, one kicks off one’s shoes,
throws off one’s clothes, and begins to act like a little
monkey. One sits on the floor, crouches in a chair, leaps
about, bounces up and down, hangs upside down or by
one arm, whatever is physically possible to do without
strain or exertion. This exercise is completely free- style;
all the movements and actions should act out impulses
and whims as they occur to one. Monkeys also rub and
scratch themselves a great deal. One may do this also,
especially in the area of the kidneys. As the embodiment
of free will, the monkey inspires an exercise that is
free-style in the broadest sense. This exercise is best done
in private as the presence of others might be inhibiting.
The monkey is associated with the water element, so
the Monkey Exercise stimulates the functions of th e kid-
neys and bladder. This exercise is recommended for
those feeling confined or restricted by circumstances in
which there is a lack of freedom. To the Taoist will
power resides in the kidneys. The Monkey Exercise is
also recommended for any problems involving the kid-
neys, bladder, and urinary tract.
2.4.6. The Tiger Exercise (Wood Element)
The tiger demonstrates its power in its ability to capture
something by leaping over it and mauling it. The tiger
pose is an imitation of this “leaping over” movement.
One begins by standing still. One takes a few deep
breaths while imagining oneself as a tiger. When the
visualization is complete, bend one’s knees slightly and
rise up on one’s toes while reaching up and out until
one’s arms are straight. Keep the claws down, as if one
has reached over and out to grab something. One main-
tains this position as long as one can hold the image
without straining the body. One repeats as many times as
is comfortable.
Since tiger represents the wood element, this exercise
is recommended for healing and detoxifying the liver, to
sooth inflamed nerves, to balance gallbladder functions,
and to detoxify the brain and body cells.
3. Conclusion
he ancient concepts of Chi and Tao (Yin and Yang ) are
the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
and accordingly, disease or sickness is caused by a dis-
ruptive flow of energy or the imbalance of the Yin and
Yang energies around our human bodies. Hence, TCM
provides a holistic treatment meaning the whole person
is being treated – his or her body, mind and spirit. It is
believed that mind-body systems such as Meditation, Chi
Kung (Qigong) and Tai Chi exercises could send the
mind into an altered state to harness its healing power.
The Tao of revitalization aims to energize, train and
strengthen the internal organs so that they may become
strong and healthy. The exercises also make the circula-
tory system run smoothly without pressuring the heart in
speeding up the heart rate and that all the exercises are
carried out slowly according to one’s ability.
4. References
[1] A. Rooney, “Medicine, Stem Cells, Genes and Super-
beams,” Harcourt Education, UK, 2006.
[2] M.-J. Cheng, “Lao-Tzu, My Words Are Very Easy to
Understand: Lectures on the Tao Teh Ching,” North At-
lantic Books, Richmond, California, 1981.
[3] Lao-tzu, “Tao Te Ching,” translated by S. Mitchell, 2010
[4] P. K. C. Low and S.-L. Ang “Taoism and Corporate So-
cial Responsibility,” S. O. Idowu, Ed., Encyclopaedia of
Corporate Social Responsibility, Springer.(in press)
[5] C. Wallerstein, “Need to Know Alternative Medicine,”
Harcourt Education, UK, 2003.
[6] J. Kornfield, “Meditation for Beginners,” Bantam Books,
UK, 2004.
[7] L. S. Wu and Q. Wu, “Yell ow Emper or’s Canon of Internal
Medicine, Original Note Wang Bing (Tang Dynasty),”
China Science & Technology Press, Beijing, 1997.
[8] G. Maciocia, “The Foundation of Chinese Medicine: A
Comprehensive Text for Acupuncturists and Herbalist,”
Churchill Livingston, London, 1989.
[9] S. Chang, “The Chinese System of Self- Healing,” Tao
Publishing, USA, 1989.