36. The Principles of TCM. 2. Correspondence between man and universe

36. The Principles of TCM. 2. Correspondence between man and universe

The correspondence between heaven and man is interpreted as ‘the heavens and people react to each other.’ Cheon (天) means the principle of nature or the universe, and people and nature react, change, and resemble each other through each other. Unlike Western ideas that separate nature and humans and view nature as an object of conquest, the Eastern paradigm emphasizes communication or unity with nature. Therefore, in oriental medicine, when preventing and treating diseases, the natural environment, yin and yang, climate of the four seasons, time, etc. are taken into consideration. In particular, time, place, and individualization are emphasized. (因时、因地、因人制宜).


In the East, energy or waves, the source of nature, are believed to flow and apply equally to humans, a microcosm. So, it was said that when the sun rises, you go out and work, and when the sun sets, you return home to rest (日出而作, 日入而息). Our body secretes a hormone called cortisol in the morning to promote activity, and at night, it secretes growth hormone to promote cell regeneration, and secretes a hormone called melatonin to promote sound sleep. This means that our bodies are designed according to the cycle of the sun, that is, the providence of nature. It is equivalent to a thousand people.


There is a Western proverb that says eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. On average, growth hormone is secreted between 10 pm and 2am, and is not secreted when the body is full. Therefore, if you eat too much in the evening, almost no growth hormone is released. Growth hormone is secreted in small amounts even after the growth period and participates in cell regeneration.

Melatonin, called the sleep hormone, helps you sleep well, but artificial light interferes with its secretion. Therefore, it is best to enjoy the morning sunlight and avoid blue light from smartphones or computers as much as possible.

However, in modern society where day is as bright as night, it is easy for day and night to change, and as a result, hormonal metabolism becomes unbalanced and sleep quality deteriorates. If this condition continues for a certain period of time, various lifestyle diseases occur. One of the important principles of Oriental medicine is to understand the laws of nature and live in compliance with them as much as possible.

Dr. Jin-man Kim, director of Peace Oriental Clinic