Acupuncture is sees and treats illness very differently from “Western Medicine”. There is such a difference in perspective, in fact, that there is no direct one-to-one correlation with most “western” and “acupuncture” diagnoses. I will demonstrate with two examples.
Western Medicine has a category of conditions called “headache”. Headaches may come from all sorts of causes and be of many different types. Migraines, cluster headaches, headaches caused by side-effects of medications, headaches associated with hormonal changes, headaches triggered by allergies, headaches from sinus infection, and so on all fall under this broad category called “headache”. In Chinese Medicine, each of these conditions are seen as quite distinct and the treatment approach taken to address each would be very different. In Western Medicine each of these conditions would probably be treated very similarly- analgesics.
Chinese Medicine has a category of conditions called “wind”. Wind may manifest in conditions an M.D. might diagnose as headache, Bell’s palsy, bacterial infection, muscular cramps, viral infection and so on. In Western Medicine each of these conditions are seen as quite distinct and would receive very different treatments. In Chinese Medicine each of these conditions would probably be treated very similarly- subdue or release the wind.
So it is with some peril that I speak of treating people who have been diagnosed with or have self-diagnosed themselves as having specific conditions or categories of conditions. In order to be understood I need to use terms with which most Americans are familiar; essentially those of the Western perspective on pathology. This is simply a convenient way to be understood. I simply help the balance the body’s systems. The labels Western Medicine applies are simply a description of symptoms to me. I am not an M.D.- I don’t treat these conditions. I treat the imbalance that these symptoms describe to me. Healing is something a healthy body can do all by itself.
Wow, that was one giant disclaimer! With that out of the way, I invite you to read on about how Chinese Medicine views many common health concerns by clicking the names of the concerns in the sidebar on the right.