Embedded within Chinese culture and philosophy lies a profound belief in the interconnectedness of all things—an intricate web of humanity, nature, and society. This inseparable bond is mirrored in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), where the concept of well-being transcends the confines of the individual and embraces the harmonious interplay between humans and nature. Within this holistic perspective, the human body becomes an integral part of the natural world, intertwined with the cosmic fabric of the universe. Only through the delicate dance between the universe, earth, and humankind can true well-being be attained. Guided by this profound wisdom, TCM unveils a worldview that celebrates the synergy between body, mind, and the environment to develop a holistic view of health.
Within Chinese medicine, a profound aspiration emerges—to liberate not only individuals but entire nations and the world from the shackles of suffering, reflected in the ancient Chinese saying: "The top physician heals the nation, the intermediate physician heals the individual, and the junior physician heals ailments". Rooted in the intricate interplay between medicine and society, this healing art moves beyond mere symptom relief, embracing a holistic approach to touch lives, restore balance, and nurture well-being on both a personal and collective scale—a resounding testament to the enduring power of ancient wisdom.
The fascinating essence of TCM lies in its comprehensive approach that assimilates knowledge from physiology, pathology, diagnosis, and treatment. It perceives the human body as a harmonious whole connected to the surrounding nature. In this holistic paradigm, diseases are not isolated occurrences but are intimately intertwined with the fluctuations of the external environment. While external factors continue to impact our well-being, they also hold the power to restore equilibrium within the human body. Consequently, TCM's philosophy revolves around nurturing and sustaining the body's vitality by harnessing nature's invaluable treasures bestowed upon us. It unites humanity with the abundant resources of the natural world, paving the way for restoring balance within ourselves.
In addition to alleviating harmful symptoms, TCM emphasises health conditioning and disease prevention. Reflected in Chinese wisdom, "Illness comes from the mouth," our dietary habits play a significant role in developing diseases over time. Conversely, this notion suggests that the foundation of good health lies within a nourishing, well-balanced diet. TCM encourages supplementing our daily sustenance with the therapeutic power of traditional Chinese herbal medicine, promoting a medicinal diet. This approach unveils a world where each meal becomes an opportunity for healing and nurturing the body, empowering individuals to embrace a proactive stance in their own well-being, beginning with culinary choices.
Within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a plethora of remedies exists, ranging from plant-based elixirs to those derived from animals and minerals. In the vibrant city of Hong Kong alone, over 2000 varieties of Chinese remedies flourish. However, contrary to popular belief, the efficacy of these remedies does not solely hinge upon their preciousness. Instead, the true essence lies in the quality and suitability of these remedies for the individual, carefully determined by TCM practitioners through the art of syndrome differentiation. Fascinatingly, it has been discovered that the medicinal treasures commonly found in households and those meticulously prescribed by Chinese medicine practitioners harbour the potential to rejuvenate the body safely.
In the enchanting region of Lingnan, China, an extraordinary reverence is bestowed upon soups within the realm of daily nourishment. However, a remarkable elixir known as "Leung cha" takes centre stage among the various culinary treasures that grace the tables. This herbal tea, crafted from a harmonious blend of Chinese medicinal herbs, has woven itself intricately into the fabric of Lingnan's cultural tapestry, serving as a time-honoured practice for revitalizing the body. Beyond its flavoursome allure, "Leung cha" holds power to dispel dampness, soothe internal heat, and even safeguard against the dry wrath of summer and the onset of colds and influenzas. To this day, herbal tea stands as a steadfast companion in Chinese daily life, preserving within it the essence of folk wisdom and traditional culture. Its significance is further exemplified by its inclusion as one of the first national intangible cultural heritages in 2006. Yet, Lingnan's treasure trove of medicinal remedies extends beyond herbal tea, encompassing extraordinary potions like snake and Tiehta wine.
As the golden years gracefully unfold and individuals step into their sixties, they may encounter the occasional bout of minor ailments. During this precious phase of life, nurturing one's well-being assumes paramount importance. TCM emphasises the administration of remedies tailored to each individual's unique physical condition and harmonises with the ever-shifting climate and seasons. The liver finds solace in the spring, the heart flourishes amidst the warmth of summer, the spleen thrives in late summer, the lungs rejuvenate amidst autumn, and the kidneys find sustenance in the winter. TCM, guided by a holistic understanding of the interconnectedness of nature, society, and human existence, illuminates disease prevention and treatment.
Unlocking the secrets to a fulfilling and vibrant retirement journey lies within the realm of appropriate medicinal remedies, capable of nourishing our internal organs, enhancing blood circulation and harmonising the delicate dance of yin and yang. Within this perspective of well-being, a symphony of supplements takes centre stage, each offering its unique treasures for a life of longevity. Cordyceps Sinensis, bird's nest, herbal stewed ribs, and the nourishing elixir of Siquan Dabu soup grace this remarkable repertoire. Yet, the wisdom of TCM reminds us that these supplements should be embraced in accordance with the seasons. Like a delicate choreography, herbal stewed ribs and Siquan Dabu soup find their ideal place in the winter, their warmth a balm against the cold. The adage "foods not in season should not be eaten" resonates with profound truth, urging us to align our dietary choices with the world's natural rhythms. Excess is also a peril to avoid, for balance remains the truest path to well-being. At the same time, embarking upon this culinary odyssey with care is paramount, ensuring that the foods and remedies we partake in complement each other; otherwise, they may be detrimental rather than nourishing.
At last, holistic well-being through TCM extends far beyond pharmacological remedies. Physical treatments such as acupoint massage and acupuncture help maintain health and fight ageing, while regular exercise and purposeful movement improve flexibility, circulation, strength, and mental well-being. Together, they unlock vitality and resilience, which, when coupled with medicinal remedies of TCM, will ensure a life of health.