Foundations. . . as in the foundations of a house. This is what makes Chinese medicine tick. If you can wrap your brain around Foundations you have a pretty good chance of understanding all the little tidbits that look so magical in clinic. Nail this down now and it will help you with every other thing you study about Eastern medicine.

Foundations is divided into the following topics. Click below to read more about each one.

History of TCM

Huang Di, Hua Tuo, Zhang Zhongjing, and the historical posse of Chinese medicine heavy hitters. Who they were, why they were important, and how that affects you as an eastern medicine practitioner. Bonus section of Cat’s wrap up of the Cultural Revolution and where this thing called TCM came from.

Yin and Yang Theory

The origin and nature of Yin and Yang and how that underlies all of eastern medicine. Yin and Yang correspondences, and pathologies of Yin and Yang you need to know for clinical work.

Five Phase/Element Theory

While Yin and Yang theory lays a lot of ground work for you, you need Five Element theory to flesh it out and understand how Qi flows through the body and affects health. Know it well. You’ll need it for Diagnostics and clinical practice. Kinda shows up incessantly on your licensure boards too!

Zang Fu Theory

This is the main diagnostic theory taught in many schools of TCM. This is the theory of how the organs interrelate and how their imbalances cause disease conditions in the body and in the spirit. This is a major component of understanding how to diagnose and treat for herbal medicine.

Vital Substances

The energetic system of the body has four vital substances, which interact together and with the organs to keep the physiology functioning. These vital substances are Essence, Qi, Blood, and Body Fluids. This section discusses the definition of each, how they function in the body, how they relate to each other and the internal organs, and their possible pathologies.

The Inter-relationships Between Zang Fu and Vital Substances

One of the final “pull it all together” chapters, this section explains how these work together from a Chinese medical perspective to give you a better feel for how the body works.

Disease From a Chinese Medicine Perspective

Finally, the last bits you need in order to progress on to Diagnostics, and some vital information you need for a clinical perspective.