‘Treating a disease after it has manifested is like digging a well after you are thirsty…’ – Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic
This quote is taken from a classical Chinese Medical text written about 2,500 years ago. Prevention of disease has always been a significant aspect of Chinese medicine.
When patients come in for acupuncture treatments or herbal consultations, we ask many questions, check the pulse, and examine the tongue. These methods give Chinese medical practitioners information about the patient’s condition as a whole. We then take the information and develop a pattern. The pattern is a holistic interpretation of the patient’s health. It gives us an idea of how the patient has reached his or her current state and what health issues may manifest in the future. In this way we can help prevent some health problems from manifesting or catch them early enough when they are easier to treat.
It is unfortunate that often times it seems acupuncture and Chinese medicine are last resorts for patients after they have exhausted all other possible avenues of health care. Many times we are able to help these patients but it probably would have been easier and taken less time if they had come to us sooner.
I feel that acupuncture and Chinese medicine are excellent ways to maintain good health. Since Chinese medicine looks at the body holistically, the whole body and mind benefit from treatments. It would be nice to see more patients come in for general maintenance to keep themselves healthy and prevent diseases from starting in the first place.