Chinese medical theory can be really baffling. It’s safe to say it has a reputation for mystery, like the legacy of ancient secrets that it is. I’ve been studying it for over fourteen years now, and I can assure the reader that once you’ve grasped some basic principles, the bigger picture does get clearer. Explaining it simply to impart that basic understanding, however, is another thing. No surprise, when you think about it, considering that TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) theories attempt to describe the workings of a fabulously complex world, and ourselves, one of the incredibly complex creatures in it. On top of that, unlike bio-medicine, TCM describes it in very subjective, intuited terms, as energy, and a living system—not from the objective perspective of mechanics and chemistry. But that said, it mostly comes down to two ideas: Yin/Yang and the Five Elements.