This is a very common question because we’ve become used to taking one pill for one problem. Have a headache? Take a Tylenol. Have heartburn? Take Tums. With Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the focus is not on treating the illness, disease, or symptom. The focus is on treating the individual.
Ten people with headaches can each be treated very differently. One person’s headaches may be caused by low blood sugar levels. Another’s by changes in the weather. And still another by eating certain foods. Headaches that are dull and achy are different than those that are thunderous pounding. Headaches may be felt at the very top of the head while others are behind the eyes and still others are at the temples.
Of course a painkiller can mask the pain of any of those kinds of headaches…maybe. But, they don’t address the actual cause of the headaches—the source, the root.
This is where TCM is brilliant. The assessment is done on the person, based on the that person’s experiences with the health issue, the medical history, the family medical history, the emotions and state of mind, the triggers and things that relieve the problem, and all of the various other complexities of that individual’s body, mind, and spirit.
So, when someone asks, “can you treat x?”, my answer is almost always “yes”, but with a reminder that I’m treating the person, not the symptoms. TCM can seem mystical and even miraculous sometimes, but that is not really because it can cure any disease. It is because it can address the patterns of imbalance that arise for all of us at times and because we are all designed with the capacity to heal ourselves. TCM simply provides us with the tools and avenues to do that healing.