Canonical Chinese Medicine (CCM)

The beginnings of Chinese Medicine originated at least 3,500 years ago.  Some research suggests it might be older, but it surely dates to the beginnings of scribing. There are several different medical modalities that make up Chinese Medicine, including herbal medicine, acupuncture, gua sha, moxibustion, cupping, qigong, tui na and dietary therapies.

The most common branch of Chinese Medicine practiced in the United States is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which focuses on a patient’s yin. Yin in anything of substance. Examples of yin include our bodies, food and the earth. Yin is anything you can touch.

The acupuncturists at A Touch of Ginger practice Canonical Chinese Medicine® (CCM), which is far less common in the United States. CCM is a lineage-based medicine where philosophy, skills and clinical practice are passed through written and oral transmission from master to student. Dr. Arnaud Versluys is the current leader of the Tian-Zeng lineage. Dr. Versluys is the main disciple of Dr. Zeng Rongxiu, MD, who was the disciple of Dr. Tian Heming.

This process not only requires classroom studies, along with intense independent study of the classical texts, Shung Hun Lun and the Jingui yaolue, it also includes years of direct clinical study under the master. Like TCM, CCM practitioners receive similar herbal medicine education during their four years of Chinese Medicine school. But CCM practitioners go on to take an additional two-year post-graduate program to study the two ancient classical texts and to integrate classical knowledges with extensive clinical experience.

CCM focuses on a patient’s yang. Yang is energy and cannot be touched. Examples of yang include light from a lightbulb, sunlight, heat and sound. A person can lose some yin, like a limb or even an organ. But the loss of yang is catastrophic as it is the loss of life. Because of this, CCM’s primary goal is the preservation of yang.

In addition to preserving yang, CCM also looks at disease and the progression of disease differently. CCM’s acupuncture and herbal medicine strategies are based on Chinese Medicine’s six confirmations and the theory that taxation on the body causes diseases. CCM pinpoints imbalances in the body to treat diseases. Restoration of balance in the body addresses the root cause of disease and helps the body to heal.

In CCM, the patient’s pulses are the main diagnostic tool used to determine the protocol used for acupuncture and other Chinese Medicine modalities, as well as the prescription of Chinese Herbal Medicine. The pulses have a significant influence on clinical decisions that are made in a patient’s treatment.

To learn more about CCM, visit The Institute of Classics in East Asian Medicine.