top of page

How does Chinese Medicine work?


Long ago Chinese doctors examined the body and asked themselves…how does the body work? How to the organs function independently and together? what is the role of blood? What is the source of Qi or underlying energy in the body? How does this energy travel in the body? What is the source and what are the regulating factors of spirit or animating life force of an individual ? How does one maintain and regulate all of these functions?

Over thousands of years of observation or empirical evidence the Orientals developed clear theories and practices about how humans interact with their environment and how that effects health including food, sex, work, thinking, exercise, etc. They also observed and tested medicinal herbs, foods, exercises, meditations, philosophies to regulate, strengthen and heal the body of most of its diseases. They developed elegant theories of disease patterns and treatments for those diseases. The time tested and complex formulations are as appropriate today as they ever were. ….

The healing or treatment of a disease is never reduced only to medications and surgery. There are always therapies including dietary therapy, exercise, supplements and herbs, manual therapies that lead to healing an individual. Disease is a dysfunction with the natural body processes. Disease has many origins, some inherited tendencies often called natural or genetic. Others are of environmental or “ lack of nurture” in it’s origins.To understand disease processes one also has to have a clear understanding of health processes.

What creates health? What conditions, activities and influences help the body stay healthy? What environments, food, exercises, emotional states create health for the body and the mind? Western medicine has not systemically answered these questions. Oriental Medicine has.

Oriental diagnosis and treatment are based on Pattern identification. WHAT IS PATTERN IDENTIFICATION? Pattern I.D. is the corner stone of Oriental Medicine. For every disease there is a disease pattern. Patterns in the client’s body, observed by the practitioner relate to patterns of disease. Pattern identification is based on symptomatic qualifications such as heat or cold, excess or deficiency, yin or yang predominant, interior or exterior manifestations in the body. Each person’s pattern will differ, even for the same disease.

For head ache there are patterns which include wind cold, wind heat, damp heat, blood deficiency, blood stagnation, yin deficiency, yang rising. Your pattern for headache may be different from some one else’s pattern and will be treated individually. What does heat, damp, wind, fire phlegm, heat and cold relate to in my body?

Heat relates to.. a person who runs hot, someone who has a fast metabolism, red face, wears shorts in winter, overheats easily and may have other heat signs. Inflamation is also a heat sign.

Damp refers to un-metabolised nourishment. It could mean mucous, fat, phlegm, cholesterol. It is a condition in the body, which resembles a boggy swamp. Humidity often bothers people with damp conditions, which can settle into the bones and joints or the muscles and flesh. Dampness can also make a person foggy headed.

Wind refers to diseases that create shaking or tremors. Often diseases that change quickly and come and go quickly, these are said to be from wind.

Fire resembles high fever conditions in the body. Very hot contagious or virulent bacterial or viral infections which cause dangerous fevers are considered fire conditions.

Phlegm is how it sounds. It is harder and thicker than dampness and related to phlegm, nodules, fatty cysts and tumors.

Cold relates to slow metabolism, a person who is always cold, even in summer. They may have a pale face, cold limbs, blue fingers etc.

Yin relates to the resource energy of a particular organ. Yang relates to the metabolism and the energy to carry out functional process of each organ in the body.

Dry relates to dry skin, organs damaged from chemo or radiation, dryness can happen from climate or food intake as well. Lack of fluid can damage circulation of blood and energy. Dryness can impair the functioning of the body.

When we look at the big picture of a patient’s signs and symptoms we get a pattern according to Oriental medicine. We treat the patient according to their pattern. This is what makes Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine so effective, it’s tailored to you! It is not a gunshot approach or a one size fits all! This medicine is personalized for you. For every headache patient that walks through our door there can be ten different patterns. We treat you and your pattern exclusively. This is why Oriental medicine works so well!

bottom of page