Traditional Chinese Medicine Treats the Body as a Whole
Combining, or holistic treatment, is generally adopted in TCM. It is emphasized that the patient's body should be viewed as an organic whole rather than individual parts functioning separately during the course of treatment. Emphasis in TCM is not laid on the disease itself, but rather the patient is considered as an organic whole and integral part of nature and treatment measures should be varied according to differences in the individual patient's inhabited location and seasons, in order that the balance and harmony of the bodily functions can be restored. This is what we call "treatment on the basis of differential diagnosis of symptoms and signs (known in TCM terms as Zheng)". As to the concrete treatment measures, there is a wide variety. A few might be mentioned here, namely dietotherapy, drug therapy, acupuncture, and moxibustion, massage, breathing exercises, and spiritual therapy, etc. The first choice of these is dietetic therapy due to its convenience, easy mastering, economical and practical application, inter alia, lack of side effects. Then comes acupuncture and moxibustion. Drug therapy is to be applied in cases where these measures fail or prove ineffective. However, TCM holds that prevention should be put first, just as the Internal Classic of Yellow Emperor states it: "A superb physician 'treats' before the ailment occurs", which laid down the precious and active prophylactic conception in TCM.