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Chinese medicine


“I hear that people of ancient times, would live through one-hundred springs and autumns, without becoming weak and feeble in their action,” enquired the Yellow Emperor to his royal physician many centuries ago (黃帝內經素問第一卷).

Traditional Chinese medicine is a health system originating out of Chinese civilisation, drawing from ongoing contributions that have replenished and refined its ideas over the eons, while essentially remaining a continuous body of experience which has stood a test time. It may be used to varying degrees for the treatment of all ailments. Qìgōng exercise and meditation techniques within Chinese medicine confide in the proposition of qì, that is, the life energy that flows through the body, which may be manipulated by the hands, acupuncture needles, and other implements. In the modern day, Chinese medicine may excel in engaging with conditions where no apparent cause of illness can be identified by biomedical parameters.



“From one there are two, from two there are three, and so forth ten thousand things. The ten thousand things contain yīn and yáng (the two), and thus coincide with energetic harmony” (道德經第四十二章).

Chinese medicine has been strongly influenced by theory, to which yīn and​ yáng have proven to be fundamental. Like binary elements which lie at the core of the complexities of computer science, yīn and​ yáng are not just polar opposites, but the products of dichotomous reason and discernment, which can be extended to provide precise and detailed assumptions. Zàng-​fǔ, or 'organ', theory; along with the theoretical systems of level division within the dimension of external pathogenic invasion, give context to the broader Chinese theoretical concepts within the medical paradigm.

The hundreds of herbs used in Chinese medicine, including plant roots, twigs and leaves, along with other naturally occurring biologic and mineral medicinal substances, each with its own unique identity, are combined in recipe prescriptions of up to a dozen or more ingredients, to allow for a finely-tuned effect.



“With tail moist (the fox that is swimming across the river) is not far from profit, without yet connecting to the mark. Though secure position is not yet established, a combination of strength and suppleness ought to be adopted” (易經未濟章).

Self-initiated therapy by means of appropriate lifestyle practises and dietary routines are central tenants of the preventative nature of Chinese medicine; where not only persistence, but also reflection and adaption are valued; health being not just the absence of disease, but a state which may continuously be tempered and tested toward a more favourable course. The Chinese philosophy of the five movements, also known as the five elements, helps to account for the ever-changing nature of the universe, and likewise, of physiology and pathology within the human body. Intuitive understanding can be realised by observation of others and introspection of one's self. The holistic perspective of Chinese medicine draws also on analogy that is inspired by the way of nature in the external environment.

This website provides a collection of articles related to traditional Chinese medicine, including translated information from that field, as well as language learning resources in general.

Chad Ryan

Chad Ryan is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, and is a member of the Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Association.

He obtained his degree in health science from the Southern School of Natural Therapies in Melbourne in 2016, and completed three internships at E-Da Hospital in Kaohsiung, Dezhou City Chinese Medicine Hospital in Dezhou and Tzu-Chi Hospital in Taipei in 2017.

In 2020, he completed a diploma in Chinese language at Deakin University, and earnt a Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults through the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.