Chinese medicine to a large extent was developed within and around the royal courts of ancient China beginning over 4000 years ago. Often the best doctors in the surrounding empire were gathered to present themselves in front of the emperor with the following requests of wanting treatment and herbal formulas to be physically strong, remain as virile as possible, not get sick, have abundant energy, and immortality! Doctors who succeeded would be rewarded with money, fame, and a place in the royal court, those who failed in preventing the emperor and his loved ones from getting sick or resolving their illnesses would run the risk of being beheaded! In addition to these demands he also wanted to appear politically and militarily strong and to that end, herbs and tonic formulas were given to his generals and warriors to be strong and ferocious so no one would dare to attack them and they would win every conquest they undertook.
During this particular historical period, it was also common for emperors to take many wives. It was in the best interest of these wives to stay as healthy, beautiful, and as fertile as possible in order to stay in the emperor’s highest favor and continue the lavish lifestyle they enjoyed. Therefor, the court physicians were also responsible for the beauty graceful aging, and fertility of these women! While we certainly do not agree with the methods the emperor employed or the realities and pressures through which Chinese medicine was originally created, at its deepest roots it is very much focused in creating and sustaining longevity, wellness, and a strong human body. They did succeed in these goals to a large extent; historical records suggest that during ancient times, while in Europe the lifespan was 25-30, in the royal courts of China it was 3-5 times longer!!
Today by comparison, western medicine has made tremendous strides technologically and in some truly remarkable treatments for acute, emergency, and catastrophic health situations. In the vast majority of chronic conditions, through a western medicine lens, they can only be managed through continued pharmaceutical drug treatment or surgery by either masking symptoms and/or carrying the potential risks of serious side effects. Chinese medicine however, has an amazing array of treatments and modalities that are very useful in today’s world to prevent illness, treat many chronic and recalcitrant health conditions, and help someone to live longer and have a better quality of life. We believe both western and Chinese medicine have a proper place and should be used integrative and customized to the unique needs of the individual.