How Functional Medicine & Chinese Medicine Are Similar

According to the theory behind Chinese medicine, human beings are regarded as microcosms of the natural universe. We are subject to the same cycles that occur in nature.  Different organ-systems are more vital during different seasons, their function being more prominent than at other times of the year.

This lends to a rich discussion of cross-talk between pioneers of Functional Medicine and practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  Here is a quick snapshot of how the organ-systems of TCM represent the key pillars of Functional Medicine.

Spring:  Birth, New Growth

TCM – Belongs to Liver/Gall Bladder Organ Systems:  This is a special time to open up to the new; this is the season to clear out from the past that which is ready to leave.
Functional Medicine – Key Pillar:  Detoxification

Summer: Expansion, Growth, Activity

TCM – Belongs to Heart/Small Intestine Organ Systems:  This is a time of high energy, outgoingness, and moving outward in nature and in our lives.
Functional Medicine – Key Pillar:  Micro-Circulation, Healthy Blood Flow

Late Season (the time between seasons): Stability & Transition

TCM – Belongs to Spleen/Stomach Organ Systems:  This is a nurturing and grounding time;  a time to create stability, settledness, and a sense of “home”.
Functional Medicine – Key Pillar:  Digestion

Fall: Harvest, Letting Go, Protection of Internal Resources

TCM – Belongs to Lung/Large Intestine Organ Systems:  This is a time to eliminate what is unnecessary and become aware of what is essential.  It is a time to prepare for winter and fortify our immune systems.
Functional Medicine – Key Pillar:  Colon Health & Sustained Immunity

Winter:  Reflection, Replenishment, & Conservation

TCM – Belongs to Kidney/Urinary Bladder Organ Systems:  This is a time to store and reserve Qi in the body so that it can be used in times of stress and change, or to heal, prevent illness, and age gracefully.
Functional Medicine – Key Pillar:  Hormonal Balance

You might also be interested in...

Plant Toxins

What are Plant Toxins?

Plant toxins are naturally occurring chemical compounds produced by various plants as a defense mechanism against herbivores, pathogens, and other potential threats.

Read More »

What are Oxylates?

Oxalates, or oxalic acid, are naturally occurring compounds found in many plant-based foods. Oxalates are not inherently “bad” for everyone, but they can pose health concerns for some individuals in certain situations.

Read More »

Have a Question?

We're Here To Help

Send Us Your Question…

Enter your name, email and question and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.