Phase 1: Posing Real Questions

Updated 5 years 9 months ago

My teacher taught me that to take the traditional Chinese medicine in some cases, you must boil it in a pot, until it’s very thick and murky, and then you drink it. I know that medicine is a way by which you can recover from many different illnesses. There is the herbal form, accupuncture form, and others that I dont' know about yet.  In my past, I have used the pill medicine to focus on one part of the body that was sick, but herbal medicine has always been more interesting to me.  I think it's healthier then pills because it focusses on the whole body, and if I become a doctor in the future, I would rather be an herbal medicine doctor then a regular doctor.

I learned these facts from my Chinese teacher and from my own past as well. I came to the conclusion that herbal medicine is healthier when watching a health video during health class when the people want to give herbs to the people that are proven to help, but they reject them and go back to the pills.

In general, I know that in small villages where they do not have pills for medicine they do use TCM because it is their custom and tradition. I know that TCM has a certain history, but I don't know where or when it originated.

I have done background information that has helped the rest of this phase, and you can find it here.

I want to focus on how over time philosophy has changed TCM at all. I would also like to know a little about how the philosophy helps diagnose disease.

1. How do the five elements affect the different forms of TCM like food therapy, accupuncture, and the herbal medicine?

I think that the five elements affect every form in TCM. I just need to confirm my beliefs by finding hard evidence that they affect them. I suspect that the five elements affect food therapy the most because when you eat too much of one of the element classifications, you need to balance it with the opposite element. If food therapy affected it, a follow up question could be: What elements balance each other? Accupuncture will be harder to uderstand if the five elements do affect it because accupuncture is used to keep the flow of qi constant. The five elements might have to do with the different parts where you can stick the accupuncture needle in.

2. Where do you use qi to perfect the imbalances of the body when you have a disease?

           I think that when using qi to balance the body, you are mainly maintaining body health and blood flow. I know this question goes much deeper then I can comprehend, so another follow up could be: Does healing with qi have to do with keeping it flowing through the meridians?

3. Have you known about qi all your life? Do you think that qi made the earth?

           Qi is a life beginning substance, and I believe that the doctor or others I ask will answer positive to this question. A follow up could be: Who taught you this?

4. When you have a disease with the element water, must you balance that with fire to perfect the balance in the body?

           I think that the balance between the elements is very delicate and very complex, so I would not be surprised if this question's answer is yes or no. A follow up is: What is the element balancing cycle?

5. When one of the organs in a body is infected or has a disease and is imbalanced, then must the whole body be out of balance, or just that one organ?

           This question will be an adventure to me because I have no predicted answer.

6. How do you know when to stimulate qi or when to perfect imbalance in the different organs? 

           You know when the blood flow is so

7. What is the balance between yin and yang and how does it affect the way you treat your body?

           It affects everything because it can related to destruction and construction, and fire and water.

8. How does Bai minority medicinal beliefs differ from the Han's medicinal beliefs? Is the philosophy behind the medicine different behind your culture as well?

           I have no idea what the answer could be.

9. Do you use different forms of TCM when addressing different needs, or is it personal preference as to which form you use?

           I think that the different forms address different needs to harmonize the body, but I'm not sure. If someone that I ask says it is a personal preference, a follow up is: What can you choose from in different situations?

10. How does qi affect herbal medicine?

           I have no idea how qi could have affected herbal medicine.

11. I know that philosophy has changed TCM, but how has TCM changed Chinese philosophy?

           I'm sure that TCM has changed some philosophy in China, but I'm not sure what it could be.

I think that the background philosophy of TCM would help me the greatest in my project because I will know what to listen and look for when talking to the doctors here. I can't do anymore research if I don't know the background of the philosophy that it mostly used in TCM.


Ever since the trip in 8th grade, I have always been walking outwards. I am no more afraid of silence, and I embrace the chances I have to talk to locals where ever I am. I'm so grateful to Mr. T for teaching us and guiding us through an experience that has truly changed the way I walk and talk. I hope that the coming years will bring the students lots of success as the locals in Xi Zhou continue to open up to foreigners like us.