Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a set therapies, all based in the fundamental principles of Chinese Metaphysics such as Qi, Yin-Yang and Five Element theory. The best known therapies are Acupuncture and Phytotherapy (use of medicinal herbs). Other practices include Moxibustion, Tui Na massage, Cupping and Dietetics among others. It is possibly the oldest art, with its basic principles described in the famous "book of the Yellow Emperor - Huang Di" that lived circa 2500 BC. This in spite of this treaty possibly being written much later during the Han dynasty, 206 BC to 220 AD.
For the Orientals, the energetic body precedes the physical body and, therefore, before diseases materialize, they manifest in the energetic body. Chinese Medicine acts in the energetic body through the stimulation of the meridians and their respective points. Healing before the illness manifests physically is much better and makes it easier to change the course of events in a positive direction. Oriental medicine therefore has a somewhat preventive aspect when compared to the western point of view.
Traditional Chinese culture does not allow the dissection of corpses, which is why sophisticated and empirical diagnostic techniques have been developed to diagnose. The principle of oriental diagnosis is that the whole is represented in the part. Thus, the different organs and functions are evaluated through the palpation of the pulse, analysis of voice and body odor, observation of the tongue, face and eyes, among various other forms.