I spent Friday locked in a fancy hotel conference room, my brain a quivering confused mess. The topic was An Introduction to Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. I have read up on TCM, have a superficial understanding of qi, shen, yin and yang. I was still overwhelmed by the complexity of this body of knowledge. If this is something I wish to pursue, it will not be done lightly!
An idea which struck me during the lecture was that TCM theory and practice was developed through thousands of years of observation of cause and effect, of associations which mirrored nature, observation of function. I do not believe there was much dissection or autopsy going on through these years-but there certainly was a lot of observation of relationships, harmony and function. It seems that science is becoming sophisticated enough to 'prove' TCM is valid. Acupuncture points can be located by measuring the electrical potential of the skin-they are areas of decreased resistance. Anatomically they have been shown to have a unusually large number of nerve fibers and blood vessels. Still no luck in measuring Qi though!
I thought this was a very nice analogy: if disease is a mountain, you can approach it from the east or the west. Sometimes the path from the east is quicker than that from the west or vice-versa. I would love to be able combine both 'paths' in my approach.