Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda

By on November 8, 2016

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda: How are the philosophies of these two eastern medical traditions similar?

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda have many commonalities, from something as simple as how long each has been around (about 3000 years for both), to diagnostic practices and teachings such as balance.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda also share medical treatments, for example both traditions use herbal remedies.

Massage as a form of treatment can also be found in both traditions.

Both traditions also share the common idea that healing is holistic and that symptoms can not diagnose a person, the whole person must be examined in order to obtain a proper diagnosis.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda: Diagnostic Similarities

Both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda treat ailments in the body from the perspective that when something is wrong there is a problem with the flow of energy, in Chinese medicine this energy is referred to as qi.

Practitioners of both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda employ many techniques for diagnosis. They will use their own senses to make some diagnosis based on looking, listening, smelling, asking and touching.

Using the tongue as a diagnostic tool is common in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. Practitioners of both traditions will examine the tongue of a patient in order to completely diagnose the patient.

Another major diagnostic method, and commonality is the taking of the pulse at the radial artery.

This pulse reading differs from a Western idea of pulse, in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda the pulse is read to determine the flow of energy in the body.

From this pulse reading the practitioner can determine the nature of a patient’s imbalance. Both traditions see the morning when the body has been at rest as the best time to take a patient’s pulse.

The positioning of the practitioner’s hand on the wrist of the patient have variations in both traditions. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda also distinguish between different levels and positions of the pulse in the wrist.

In Ayurvedic medicine, for example, there are different points on the wrist that correlate to each of the different doshas.

Learn More About VedaPulse Technology

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda: Similarities in Teachings

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda have similar theoretical teachings.

In Chinese medicine it is best when the body is in a balance, that is when Yin and Yang are balanced. Yin describes the cool, wet and feminine, while Yang describes the hot, dry and masculine. If the body does not maintain a balance between Yin and Yang, ailments will occur.

The same is true in Ayurvedic medicine, however instead of Yin and Yang the balance is between Vata, Kapha and Pitta, the three doshas.

Like in Chinese medicine, Ayurveda relies on a balance, in this case a balance between the doshas. Just as an imbalance of Yin and Yang can lead to ailment, an imbalance in one of the doshas leads to sickness as well.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda also share the teaching that lines of energy or meridians connect the vital organs. It is these energy lines that play an important part in diagnosis as well as the flow of balanced energies throughout the body. In Chinese medicine this energy is the qi, the life force, and in Ayurveda, it is known as prana.

The Ayurvedic dosha Kapha is very similar to the concept of Yin in Traditional Chinese medicine, both contain the qualities of moisture and phlegm.

Pitta in Ayurveda has a correspondence to fire and qi, most especially the stomach qi in Chinese medicine in herbs both contain warming, supplementing and dispersing qualities.

Finally Vata and Prana can be said to correspond somewhat to the Chinese herbal concept of qi, most especially qi or the meridian, lung and kidney, as well as Yang.

This is due to the belief that the herbs that invigorate Yang in Chinese medicine are similar to those that invigorate Vata in Ayurveda.

So while it is clear that Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine are two distinct systems, it is clear that they have influenced each over the centuries and both have a lot to bring to the modern paradigm of health.

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About Suleyka Montpetit

Suleyka Montpetit is a Media Entrepreneur, Explorer, Writer and the former Managing Editor for Everyday Ayurveda. She has studied Yoga, Health, Spirituality and the Arts for over 15 years, rubbing elbows with luminaries and making stuff happen everywhere she goes.

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