No matter what your opinions are on Traditional Chinese Medicine and other alternative therapies, there is one truth about the human body. The human body is an ecosystem. Each body has its own delicate balance that must be maintained to maintain good health.

Although we are all taught the principles of homeostasis at school, it is a delicate balance that can cause illness. An excess of bacteria can lead to illness and fever. The body responds to an imbalance and attempts to fix it. After all, the human body was designed to heal itself. All it takes is a little bit of encouragement every now and again. TCM says that a state of imbalance or stagnation can lead to internal conditions that are more suited for things like illness, infection, and pain.

Because everything is interconnected, it can cause a domino effect. The principles of yin/yang can be thought of as a combination of both. These are complementary forces that coexist and balance each other (ideally). An ecosystem is the interaction of all living things and nonliving ones.

Nonliving things does not refer to your bag of Cheetos, which most likely has no Cheetos left in it. All things have a purpose, and animals, plants, water and heat all play a part in that. Consider the detritus feeders and scavengers. It is important to deal with the problem of organic material being broken down. You are familiar with the creepy crawlies and bugs that you don’t like. They play an important role in the breakdown of organic matter.

Predators and scavengers are crucial to maintaining an appropriate balance between animal population and environment.

Plant-life is the main source of their sustenance. Carnivores hunt herbivores and generally go for the weak, ill or old to control the population. The environment might not be able sustain the herbivore population if there were no predators. Balance is the bottom line. TCM refers to the body system as the flow of energy or qi. It can be thought of as a river ecosystem. The river’s health is maintained and the water flows freely. But what happens if the water is unable to flow? This water will eventually stop flowing, and an algae overgrowth can cause problems downstream.

Perhaps a better analogy would be a man-made ecosystem, such as a fish tank. Many people know someone who had one or have owned one. What was the tank like before the pump died?

Algae can quickly take over when water flows stop. It isn’t just the movement of water that causes this. There is a filter system. The flow of qi affects organs and other systems in the body. The health of certain organs can be affected depending on the location where the flow is blocked or stagnant.

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