-By Bing Qian
What is the difference between Western Medicine (WM) and Chinese Medicine (CM)? This is a question I have been frequently asked during my practise. I believe what people are really asking is “while Western Medicine is so accessible and effective, when and what do I use Chinese Medicine for?”
My inspiration for this article comes from my headache which just got worse as I was ready to relax in bed. I tried relaxation, breathing and herbal tea. None helped. If the pain was on my knee, I would have done acupuncture on it, but for this headache, it was too awkward for me to put acupuncture needles in myself. I tossed and turned. Since I couldn’t sleep, here is what went on in my head:
I know my headaches. Well, more precisely, I know my body which is having the headache. Over the years, I’ve watched its tendency of having headaches and the patterns of those headaches. As a Chinese Medicine practitioner I could not help but analyse myself and my health and I can see exactly where and why my body’s balance has been tilted.
From the Chinese Medicine point of view, the fact I often had headaches ‘when the weather changed dramatically’ shows me my Wei Qi is deficient (my body type and possible tendencies for certain disorder). Sometimes I would have a bad patch due to stress which means any Liver Qi imbalance would deplete my health further and increase my chance for headaches (influences from environment and life events). Now as I am approaching the age of menopause (Liver Blood Warning), it seems to be making an appearance in my life again (influenced by life cycles).
My headache just got worse because of this thinking which consumes too much of the blood strength I am lacking:
So, I’ve just decided “yes” to panadol…
Thank goodness for the panadol! I am going to sleep now. Tomorrow I’ll talk to Bing, the Chinese Medicine practitioner.
I woke up with no headaches, but remembered that I need to talk to myself, the Chinese Medicine one. “Why do I need to talk to her when I no longer have the headache?” As I was asking myself this question, I thought the question can also be asked like this: “While panadol is so accessible and effective for my headaches, when and what do I use CM for?”
Even though panadol has taken my headache away; it has not addressed my internal imbalances which brought this headache on. Although the facts such as our body types, life events and cycle are seemingly predetermined or unavoidable, Chinese Medicine excels at managing these ‘facts’.
The subject of the work for Chinese Medicine is YOU. Your symptoms and conditions are some of the ways through which practitioners know YOU. In my case, that the headaches are more frequent lately has become an important signal which tells me I need pay attention to my imbalances before I deplete further and other symptoms start to manifest. Chinese Medicine does not stop when my symptoms stopped. In fact Chinese Medicine says, “Great! Now your symptoms have stopped, let’s begin to work on YOU!”
Increasing knowledge about diseases, especially with the advancement of modern technology means that views on health can easily become micro-focused and compartmentalised. Traditional Chinese Medicine is an ancient and time-tested treasure with a special essence that needs to be communicated in a way that is relevant to today.
Chinese Medicine has a lot to offer in our modern day societies. Chinese Medicine addresses your symptoms immediately and effectively; and it also always addresses you. Chinese Medicine builds your strength…
Because Chinese Medicine sees YOU as the subject of work, your knowledge of your own health is vitally important. You may have noticed, at Bing’s Natural Health, we love to spend time explaining your health to you. We love to see you well and we would love you to ask us more questions!