17. Treatise on the Importance of the Pulse and the Subtle Skill of its Examination
This quote from the Huang Di Nei Jing, or Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic, dates back to the Warring States Period, between 475-221 BCE, almost 3,000 years ago. The speaker is Qi Bo, the Huang Di’s Imperial Physician, and this text is the oldest central cannon of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The gist of this quote? Subtle skill and attentive examination will give you a complete picture of the patient’s overall health. Using the information gathered, you can prescribe a course of treatment to correct imbalances big or small, to restore and maintain health. To be concise, this is a 3,000 year old treatise on Chinese Medicine for Treatment and Prevention.
With this teaching from Qi Bo at the heart of Chinese Medicine theory and practice, TCM and has a long history of preventative medicine and proactive treatment for all concerns big and small. Indeed, 3,000 years ago you only paid your Chinese Medicine doctor when you were healthy - not when you were sick! In this way, Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture could be said to represent the oldest HMO in the world! As well as the original Health Coaching Plan. Hmm…
Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture diagnosis and treatment are based on a subtle combination of factors that combine to give an overall health picture, not only of the symptoms and effects of your current complaint, but of underlying factors. This is known as the Ben and Biao or the Root and Branch of illness. Sometimes the Ben and Biao can be treated together, sometimes the Biao or Branch needs to be resolved first, and then the Ben or Root of illness can be corrected. In either case, the goal and focus of Acupuncture treatment within Chinese Medicine is not only to make you feel better, but to proactively treat the underlying cause of illness to help you become well and stay that way.
Shifting from Reactive Treatment to Proactive Treatment
Slowly but surely there is a shift coming over our culture, from reactive treatment to proactive treatment. In a sense, this is a shift away from the standard course of Western medicine over the past couple centuries where there is a pill for every ill, and towards a more Chinese approach of learning to be more in tune with your body, pursuing regular maintenance care, putting good general health first, and heading off illness at the pass as much as possible.
If you think about it, isn’t this what we do to take care of our cars and our homes? Regular oil changes and tune ups, repairing exterior cracks and keeping the roof hale, and we know that if we don’t do these things the car will fail or the roof of our house will leak eventually. Yet we don’t apply this same principle to our bodies and we still expect them to perform.
We’ve been trained to the reactive model of healthcare so long that it is a big mental shift to think about investing in regular maintenance care for our bodies. Furthermore, the hubbub and general demands of life and work don’t seem to offer opportunity for self care, or we may feel ashamed like self care is a treat rather than a necessity.
Yet it is - self care is a necessity for health, longevity and wellbeing. We can’t ask our bodies to constantly perform without proactively taking care of them. Physiologically, the heart pumps blood to itself before pumping blood to any other organ or tissue, because if the heart isn’t nourished the rest of the system will fail. Your health is the same and you must prioritize it if you want to keep working, living and laughing with your loved ones.
Why Should I Care About Preventative Medicine?
What Should I Do To Take Care of Myself?
The basics of good health are becoming common knowledge more and more. They include:
Enter 3,000 years of Traditional Chinese Medicine to the rescue! The original HMO and the original Health Coach have lifetimes of information at your disposal.
By identifying the Root and Branch of your individual illness or health picture, Chinese Medicine uses Acupuncture to rebalance, de-stress and heal. It can support short term and long term success with proven strategies including individualized nutritional, herbal and dietary recommendations and lifestyle advice. With regular monthly acupuncture treatment once you’ve achieved the level of health and wellness you desire, you will constantly have a partner in your care who can keep you on track physically and energetically to help you stay well. When you do become ill - because it happens to all of us - you will have a guide to help you get better faster, and your body will be better able to heal because the groundwork has been laid for optimal health.
In short, Chinese Medicine including Acupuncture is a proven system of preventative medicine and proactive medical treatment. It is safe, natural, effective, gentle and will not only help you heal and stay well, but it will help to empower you as you learn to identify subtle shifts in your physical and energetic health and wellbeing over time leading to a happier healthier you.
Are you looking to get well? Get out of pain? Reduce stress and engage in preventative medicine? Acupuncture might be just what you are looking for.
Free consultations with Rebecca are always available, can be booked online.
#preventativemedicine, #proactivetreatment, #proactivemedicaltreatment
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.