Foundation Concepts of Chinese Medicine

Every medicine is a language, a vocabulary of concepts that expresses fundamental beliefs about the nature of reality. It is through this grid that we perceive and explain ourselves. Medical thinking defines human experience, from physiological process to human behavior and competence. It is medicine that determines how we are born and how we die, whether we are fit or disabled, intelligent or ignorant, healthy or ill. Medicine is the cultural institution that defines when we are alive, valuable, and human. Ontology and pathology are always closely linked: how people get sick is inextricably tied to who they are. The ideas of Chinese medicine differ fundamentally from those of Western medicine, so identifying and solving problems within its context requires familiarity with its concepts, categories, and logic.