Using a variety of treatment methods, the classical principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine is to treat the whole person, not just the disease. By focusing on treating the whole person, patterns of disharmony that underlie the cause of the disease are identified.
The intent is that by identifying and changing the energetic patterns that create the disease, the person is then healed of their symptoms and maladies.
So although a person may have several seemingly unrelated symptoms that are deemed unrelated, or concluded as signs of multiple diseases, TCM connects all of them by identifying their particular patterns.
Using this principle of identifying the patterns of disharmony that underlie the cause of disease, multiple western medical diagnoses can be treated using one type of TCM intervention.
For example, diabetes (Type II), infertility, menopause, Parkinson’s, osteoporosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, side effects of chemotherapy cancer treatments, and multiple sclerosis can all be approached by nourishing Yin. Scar tissue overgrowth, uterine fibroids, ischemic heart pain, frozen shoulder, Raynaud’s phenomenon, chronic pain, and menstrual cramps can all be treated by removing Blood Stasis.
However, the opposite also applies whereby different treatments are required within the same disease.
For example, in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), there are 3 distinct presentations. In the first, the client has redness and swelling around the joints and a heat sensation with pain in the affected joints. The joint pain can be somewhat relieved by cold. The prescription will be to dispel pathogenic Wind, Heat and Dampness to remove blockage and pain.
In the second, the client gets more joint pain in cold weather and the pain is relieved with warmth. The prescription will be to dispel pathogenic Wind, Cold and Dampness to remove blockage and pain.
In the third presentation, the client has slight joint swelling and difficulty using the joint due to pain, weakness and altered joint shape. This is the chronic phase of RA and the prescription here will be to nourish liver and kidney Yin, remove Blood Stasis and transform Dampness.
There is a famous saying in Chinese medicine that accurately describes this principle:
Yi Bing Tong Zhi 異病同治 One disease, different treatments;
Tong Bing Yi Zhi 同病異治 Different diseases, one treatment.
Therefore, to understand TCM as “treating a disease or condition” is incomplete.
We want to uncover the underlying patterns of disharmony leading to certain diseases or conditions. And then use Cupping, Acupuncture & Moxibustion, Herbal Medicine & Dietary Therapy, and/or Medical Massage to treat the whole person, taking into account all of his/her manifesting symptoms, current illness and health history.