, Volume 61, Issue 5-6, pp 959-974

Spirituality in Traditional Chinese Medicine

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Abstract

In today’s world, Western medicine has a dominant place in most people’s lives, and that is true in contemporary China. However, many Chinese people also seek healing from Chinese medicine. Although it is an old method of medical treatment, Chinese medicine still maintains its vitality. Some Chinese people tend to believe that some illnesses can only be cured by Chinese medicine. How has Chinese medicine maintained its vitality for thousands of years? The reason may lie in its roots, roots full of spiritual nourishment. In this article, we propose that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a medicine that takes care not only of persons with illness; it is concerned about people as a whole. In the theory of TCM, the mind and the body of a person are inseparable; to have good health one must have good spirit and pay attention to cultivating one’s spirit. TCM is a field that is profoundly influenced by traditional Chinese philosophy and religion. In many TCM classic writings, we can find religious concepts and practices. This article examines six aspects of TCM: the history of TCM; fundamental beliefs of TCM; spirituality in traditional Chinese healing rituals; spirituality in the traditional Chinese pharmacy; spirituality in health maintenance theories; and the spirituality of master doctors of TCM.