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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

September 19, 2010

I have been going to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioners most of my life for maintaining my health.  Recently, I met a Traditional Chinese practitioner who is very passionate about his work.  When we first met, he did a check-up on me, not a typical check-up I might add.   His check-up involved looking in my eyes, nostrils, ears, mouth, face, hands (outside and inside) and my scalp.  And from that, he was able to diagnose my ailments.  I have to admit, he was bang on. 

Since then, I have gone to his clinic for treatment and I have to admit, I do see improvement.  I have a friend’s dad who went to see him as well.  And he has noticed great improvements, especially in his sleep.

I’ve always been very interested in alternative therapy as long as I can remember.  I decided to sit down with Dr. Sun and understand a bit about his type of healing.  Of course his knowledge is very broad and he studied for many years to get where he is at.  To explain anything in depth to me would take a very long time, so what he shared with me really only scratched the surface.  But captivating nonetheless.

He started by explaining the fundamental TCM theory to me.  Basically, this is the scroll for any TCM practitioner.  It is called the 5 Elements Theory (Wu Xing).  This theory in itself can be quite complex and Dr Sun only went over the very basic of this model.


From what I can understand from Dr. Sun (because my Mandarin isn’t the best), each season represents a direction (i.e., North = Winter, South = Summer, East = Spring, West = Fall).  As you can see in my simplified diagram, each direction also represents an element.  One element cannot exist without the others.  Additionally, one element feeds the next (Water => Wood (plants) => Fire => Earth => Metal (minerals)).  In other words, when one is weak, the next element or wind will be affected.  Each season also has a direct effect on an organ.  Specific colors also have healing potential to the specific organ.

He hasn’t quite explained the relationship of the winds/directions but he did explain that organs are affected by the season that we are in.  The organs are stronger during that corresponding season.  For example, he says that you will notice that the number of heart attacks/heart problems escalates greatly during the winter.  So if one has a weak heart, they should be more careful during winter.  He went on explaining that most deaths will occur at the weakest corresponding seasons.  That’s why most deaths from cardiovascular disease occur most in winter.  Especially during 2am to 5am because the energy is weakest during this time.  

Each season is related to the life cycles as well (Spring = germination/growth, Summer = continuous growth, Fall = Wither/Decline and Winter = Dormant State).  When there is an imbalance or disturbance in a season, so will that corresponding organ if it is ailed. 

Each organ has a corresponding energy color.  Dr. Sun explains that the colors give energy or “Qi” to the corresponding organs.  So someone with a weak heart may want to have some red colors around them, but too much may over-excite the heart.  If the color comes from nature, the healing can be more beneficial.

He also explained that negative emotion is what disturbs the energy or Qi of the organs.  If a negative emotion persists, it will manifest itself as an ailment to a corresponding organ.  As you can see below, a feeling or emotion is said to affect a certain organ:

  • Worry affects the lungs.  Lungs correspond to the breast and also controls the skin
  • Happiness/Sadness weakens the heart.  The health of the heart is correlated with hair.
  • Fear affects the kidney which has an impact on the prostate, ovaries and uterus.
  • Anger damages the liver.  The liver controls nail growth.
  • Over-thinking affects the digestive area (stomach, intestines)

He uses Canada as an example.  Lung cancer has been the leading cause of cancer in Canada but not in China although China has much higher pollution and many more smokers.  The reason, he believes, is Canadians have far more stress from worry than Chinese.

I’ve always believed that our body is a map of our health and past experiences.  Dr. Sun confirmed this and explained, very briefly, some areas of our face that he looks at to give him an idea of the health of our organs. 

  • The eyes show the health of the kidney & liver.  Depending on the location of the spots/discoloration, there maybe issues with the function of the kidney or liver.
  • The teeth also show the kidneys.  Poor teeth and gums can be a sign of a weak kidney.
  • The function of the nose maybe related to the lungs.  For example, allergies may mean a weakness or blockage in the lungs.
  • Lip color is an indication of the health of the spleen.
  • The tongue’s color is a good barometer for the health of the heart.

 Even something such as acne has a direct relationship with the health of our organs and not with pollution.  Depending on where most of the acne is, TCM practitioners can see which organ has blockage.

Generally, TCM doctors believe that acupuncture is the best treatment.  A certain technique of massage and Chinese “Chiropractic” (“Tie Da”) is also very useful.  Other forms are cupping, Chinese spooning, acupressure and reflexology. They also use Chinese medicine for healing as well.

But Dr Sun does suggest that our body can naturally heal itself from ailments.  He explains the two most important natural healings are sleep and meditation.

Lack of sleep or lack of thorough sleep can be extremely damaging to the body.  In fact, he believes that many strokes come about from sleeping problems because the body cannot heal itself, especially from stress, when there is lack of sleep.  As a result, the body, while awake, will increase the blood flow into the head to compensate for the exhaustion.  The increased blood flow to the brain eventually may lead to a stroke. Meditation is very healing to the body because it somewhat mimics the effects of sleep and it is extremely relaxing.  It’s not just any meditation.  Dr. Sun states that there are two stages to the meditation:

  • Quiet meditation – to relax the mind so that any negative energy or Qi, like worry or stress, can be released.
  • Focused Meditation – to put back good energy or Qi, such as happiness or tranquility, which empowers the body to heal.

There is so much more to go through but I think this is enough info for now.  I’m certainly a believer and a proponent of TCM.  In fact, I would prefer to see a TCM practitioner before I see a Western doctor.  They have proven to be more useful to me with my concerns and ailments then Western practices, although Western medicine certain has its usefulness.  But there must be more effectiveness to TCM since it’s been around for over 3000 years right?

If you’re in Vancouver, feel free to contact Dr. Sun.

Sun Natural Therapy


3100-8888 Odlin Crescent

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