I would like to acknowledge Sharon Weizenbaum’s wonderful class discussion which motivated me write this article. Her simple words have a wonderful way to describe the complexities of Chinese Medicine.
What’s the goal of Chinese Medicine?
The basic philosophy of Chinese Medicine is keep the client in balance with the external environment (everything outside the body) and internal the environment (everything inside the body). You can view this as a pathway of health. When you are on the pathway, in balance and healthy – there is a sense of ease in life…a feeling a robustness. When problems occur you are able to keep perspective and move through the issue. It doesn’t chip away at your health and wellbeing. “Everything is good” when we are on the path.
When we move out of sync with life, we step off the pathway of health and enter the rambles. The rambles cause symptoms, like hives. Suddenly life becomes uncomfortable. Instead of feeling an ease to life, you are scratching red itchy hives.
Usually Western medicine helps us manage the symptoms or the problems related to the rambles. Doctors know the symptoms of rambles, they can prescribe ramble cream. The ramble cream manages the hives and allows the person to stay in the rambles. In fact, it can make the rambles a very comfortable place to stay but the ramble cream never gets you back to a place of being on the health path and feeling robust.
Generally, clients seeking Chinese medicine have a chronic ailments that are managed yet they feel something is off. New symptoms crop up or certain ailments don’t respond to Western management. In Chinese medicine we want to try and address the root problem. We don’t want to manage the problems. We want the problem gone. That’s the goal.
Sometimes we help to manage symptoms when a client’s health can no longer provide the strength to be back on the pathway of health. Elderly and serious chronic illness clients would have treatments focused on symptom relief.
For a person in good health, TCM should redirect the person’s health back on track. Treatment should help your body to remember how to stay on the path.
- 35 yr. old woman comes in for treatment of PMS. Severe mood swings – from anger to crying – all which is uncontrollable. Within 8 treatments and Chinese herbs, her mood swings had stopped. Treatment was discontinued. Seven months later she still has no mood swings and feels a good sense of health.
- 34 yr. old woman comes in to improve her fertility. Diagnosed with premature ovarian failure. Her cycles are short with no cervical mucus at ovulation. With 12 treatments and Chinese herbs her cycles were 28 days apart and good cervical mucus at ovulation. Overall the client felt strong, especially emotionally. She decides to have another cycle of IVF. This cycle produces 10 follicles – 3 embryos for transfer. She is pregnant with twins.
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