Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture are first and foremost a preventive type of medicine. But in our Western culture we don't go to see our doctor until we are sick. I am yet to meet anyone that says to me, "I don't feel well, I am going to see my acupuncturist". What we usually get at our clinic are people that have tried everything else and nothing has helped. And now they are willing to try anything, even Acupuncture. I am not complaining, I get to prove how well Acupuncture and Chinese medicine work when I treat someone with a complicated condition, that even Western medicine has not been able to help. But a common comment I hear from my patients is, " I wish I had known that Acupuncture and Chinese medicine could have helped my condition, before it got so bad...."
It is lack of information that makes people wait until it is to late to prevent disease. We are not in tune with our own bodies, and we pay dearly for it. I believe that the way Chinese medicine looks at health can help give us a better hold on the prevention aspects of Medicine.
In Chinese Medicine health is described as the free, harmonious movement of Qi (pronounced Chee). This system of describing health is one of the first things a Chinese Doctor learns. And it can help you determine if there is a need for medical treatment with acupuncture, herbs, massage or conventional medicine.
For thousands of years, doctors of Chinese medicine have diagnosed health problems without the use of Western medical technology by simply watching and listening for the signs of Qi imbalance. Regardless of what your condition is called, in Chinese Medicine we concentrate in the overall condition your vital energy. We call that energy Qi. The Qi energy in a healthy individual is ample, strong and harmonious. When qi energy is stagnated and/or deficient the individual is more prone to disease. There are of course many symptoms that are not mentioned here, but the purpose of this short list is to make the reader aware of the warning signs. If you respond quickly, you can resolve minor health challenges before they became major illnesses.
Signs of Harmonious Qi
- Little or no pain
- Normal body temperature
- Normal pulse rate and volume
- Pink tongue
- Feeling rested
- Good stamina
- Imaginative, curious
If you have six or seven of these qualities you have ample Qi. Ample Qi can help improve the imbalances found on the next list:
Signs of Deficiency or Stagnation of Qi
- Pain----joints, head, neck, back
- Digestive and bowel problems
- Anger, fear, worry, panic
- Sickness and disease
- Frequent colds and flu
- Sexual or menstrual difficulties
- Lung disorders
- Overly emotional states
- Depression, lethargy
- Anxiety, restlessness
- Frustration, violence
- Laziness, procrastination
- Difficulty regulating body temperature
- Red, pale, or coated tongue
- Slow, fast, weak, or erratic pulse
Almost everyone exhibits one or two signs of Qi deficiency and stagnation even relatively healthy people, but in those cases a good nights sleep, a change in ones diet, or an occasional acupuncture treatment is enough to bring balance back into the persons energy.
If you express three or four of these symptoms a minor change is not sufficient any longer, you are a good candidate for Chinese herbal supplements and acupuncture. If you have five or more of the signs on the second list you need to be evaluated by a health care professional, and you definitely need acupuncture and Chinese herbs supplements.
If you have six or seven signs of harmonious Qi and three or four signs of deficiency and stagnation, you are fortunate. Most people with that many signs of deficiency and stagnation don't have many signs of harmonious Qi. The time to improve is now while your vital energy is strong.
The foundation of Chinese medicine is health improvement rather than disease curing. In Chinese culture the concept of utilizing medicine for longevity and personal optimization has held equal weight with the use of medicine for the treatment of disease. Because they enhance inner harmony and balance, such practices as acupuncture and herbal medicine can be used equally for preventive health care as well as for disease treatment. If you are suffering form a disease acupuncture and Chinese herb can help with your condition by strengthening your body. But if you are interested in prevention these are signs are invaluable for keeping yourself healthy and strong.