Chinese Medicine is one of the oldest forms of holistic medical care in the world. It began in China about 3500 years ago, with the fundamental principles of not only treating disease, preventing injuries and reducing pain, but to maintaining health and balance in the body to prevent disorders from manifesting in the first place. So, not just to treat and cure disease, but to avert its occurrence. A central thought within Chinese Medicine is that all aspects of one’s life should be kept in balance. As one strives for and maintains this harmony within oneself, maintaining personal health, this balance should also be present in our relationships to one another, between humans & nature, as well as the internal being and the external world. This allows a state of health to manifest within both the individual and the health of the community and environment at large.
When one is treated within the framework of Chinese Medicine, the aim is to locate the source of the illness or pain and address that directly in order to re-establish health. In other words, one addresses the root cause of the disease, rather than just treating the symptoms. Oftentimes, one will seek treatment for a specific complaint and find that other areas of health and wellness improve at the same time, without being addressed directly. When balance is reestablished, the system is often able to heal itself in profound ways.
According to Chinese Medicine there exists in the body a complex network of channels of energy which are referred to as “meridians”. Within the framework of Chinese Medicine, these channels are energetically connected to, and in communication with, the internal organs. Thus, disharmony in the organs can manifest in the channels, and vice versa. This connectivity allows an acupuncturist, through treatment of the meridians and the acupuncture points along them, to address both external and internal disharmony and disease. In addition to maintaining the right balance between the different energy systems in the body, there must also be correct relationship between the Yin & Yang, between the inner body and outer world, and amongst the five elements: Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal. Each of these principles, and many, many more, factor into diagnosis and treatments.
There is a saying in Chinese Medicine, “Yi bing tong zhi, Tong bing yi zhi – One disease, different treatments. Different diseases, one treatment”. This refers to one of the greatest strengths of Chinese medicine; specifically, the individualized and unique assessment and differential diagnosis of each and every patient. Even if many people suffer from the same disorder, headaches for example, the treatment for each patient will be quite different. Thus, each treatment addresses one’s specific needs to restore health, vibrancy and balance to the body and state of being.