Chinese medicine is based on the Daoist principles of Yin & Yang. Yin & Yang are two never ending phenomenon's that eternally create, control & generate each other. Yang represents day, light, expansive energy, masculinity, & the sun. Yin represents, night, heavy, contracting energy, femininity, & the moon.
Life, in general, relies on the three principles of:
1. Nutrition | 2. Exercise | 3. Rest
In order to survive we need to eat, move & sleep; it is up to us to choose the quality of these "actions". We can choose a Yang nutrition (meat & red meat in particular) or a Yin nutrition (vegetables, night shade in particular). A Yang form of exercise like Martial Arts, or a Yin form like Yoga. The Yang form of rest, meditation, or the Yin form, sleep. Health is in our hands & we are crafting it through our actions & non-actions. The Chinese medicine paradigms help us to make choices that are appropriate to our individual constitution: physiological, emotional & psychological. These three subdivisions may be called: Body, Mind, Spirit or San Biao (Three Treasures) : Shen (Spirit/ Heaven), Xue (Mind/Blood), Jing (Body/ Earth).
Chinese medicine has its paradigms laid out in the two earliest books in Chinese culture: I Ching (Book of Change; the author is unknown) & the Tao Te Ching (Lao Tsu, ca. 600BC). The oldest Chinese medicinal manuscript was excavated in 1973 from the Ma Wang Dui tomb & is dated 168BC. The most important writing of Chinese medicine is the Huang Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor Canon of Medicine) written by the legendary Yellow Emperor, Huang Di, sometime between 300-150BC. The Nei Jing is divided in two volumes: the Su Wen & the Ling Shu.
The Su Wen holds the difficult questions that treat the most theoretical questions of Chinese Medicine, often used as a reference for herbalist.The Ling Shu, or Spiritual Pivot, deals mostly with acupuncture questions. Any book on Chinese medicine, written after the Huang Di Nei Jing, is a commentary on this canon of Oriental medicine. Even today, acupuncture students & seasoned practitioners are still studying, discussing & applying the theories outlined in the text.