Chinese medicine has been practiced for more than 5000 years, and is still extensively used in China today. It is the basis for many of the other East Asian medical systems, in Korea and Japan for example. According to Asian medical theory, a healthy person is properly balanced in every aspect of life – not too much of one thing, nor too little. By establishing a healthy, balanced body and lifestyle, disease is not able to take hold. Should a person become ill, or experience discomfort, the “dis-ease” can be removed from the body through various treatments, and a comfortable balance can be reestablished.
Because each person is unique, ‘balance’ will manifest differently for each person, and will change through the annual seasons, and throughout our life cycles. Our lifestyle is different when we are twenty years old compared to when we are fifty. Our stressors are different, as is our diet, mobility, and life priorities. Each person’s treatment and medicine will need to be uniquely formulated to accommodate these ever-changing variables. In this way, Asian medicine is innately ‘concierge’ medicine that is unique to you and your situation at the time of treatment.
Preventative treatment is a main focus of Asian medicine. Practitioners are trained to detect early tendencies towards imbalance, disease, and discomfort, and adjust the body to avoid the explicit illness that is otherwise likely to follow.
Treatments can include stimulation of particular points and regions of the body with needles (acupuncture) or by direct pressure (acupressure), herbal medicine, dietary changes, therapeutic bodywork/massage (tuina), exercise and energy work (qigong), and meditation.
Asian medicine views the body, mind, and spirit holistically as an integrated system where one aspect affects all of the others. Because of this integrated approach, many illnesses, diseases, and discomforts can be addressed and resolved. Many symptoms that seem unrelated from a Western medical point of view are seen as part of larger patterns of imbalance from the Asian medical perspective. Patients often find that as one symptom resolves with treatment, other symptoms that they did not mention to the Asian medical practitioner also resolve.
A wide variety of diseases, issues, and discomforts can be alleviated through Asian medicine. Common issues include insomnia, low back pain, migraine headaches, depression, nausea and digestive issues, hypertension, painful menstruation, respiratory problems, and much more.
Asian and Western Medicine
In comparison with Asian medicine, modern Western medicine is relatively new, only hundreds of years old, and uses modern technology to identify the exact source of pathology. Western medical treatments tend to be focused on eliminating the identified pathogen, and fixing the mechanical issue through surgery or targeted chemical pharmaceuticals.
Asian and Western medicine are very complementary because they approach health and the body’s systems from different perspectives. There are some diseases and situations that are best handled by Asian medicine, and others that are more appropriately addressed by Western medicine. Should a Western treatment be necessary, Asian medicine can help alleviate many of the side-effects, and help the body to heal more rapidly and completely.
For example, Western chemotherapy can be very helpful in controlling or eliminating cancer, and Asian medicine can minimize some of the side-effects of chemotherapy (e.g., nausea, loss of appetite). Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and therapeutic bodywork before surgery can help the body prepare for the inevitable physical trauma, and recover more quickly afterwards.
Are you looking to resolve “dis-ease” in your body, mind, and spirit in a way that is customized to you and your current situation? Send me a message or schedule an appointment – I’d love to work with you!