Chapter One: Overview
Chapter one is the beginning of your foundation in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory. You will learn about Qi (vital energy), Yin-Yang theory and the Five Element theory. Yin and Yang are usually described as having characteristics similar to Water and Fire. The Chinese believed that every living thing could be explained as being either Yin or Yang in nature, depending on what it was being compared to. They believed that Yin energy comes upwards from the earth and it is moist and cooling. Yang energy comes down from the sun and sky and it is warm and invigorating.
You will start to familiarize yourself with some of the language and terminology that you will hear throughout the remaining chapters and at the practical. The material can be challenging at times and we encourage you to read through the units a number of times, take notes, ask questions of your distance learning instructor and know that you will hear all of this again and again.
Don’t try to memorize the information. Some of it may be at odds with Western views of medicine so make sure you are open to looking at the dog’s body and what health looks like from an Eastern (TCM) perspective.
A few notes about terminology:
1. When discussing the internal organs and their TCM functions, the name of the organ will be capitalized. For example,when talking about the dog’s spleen and its TCM functions we will refer to it as the Spleen.
2. When discussing the external pathogens and the impact they can have on the dog’s body, they too will be capitalized.
3. There are some concepts that are referred to by many different names and we have tried to present all of those names so that as you continue to read and study more TCM you will be familiar with them. For example, when talking about the Qi that a puppy arrives on this earth with, some texts call it Prenatal Qi, others call it Source Qi or Original Qi.