The Acupuncturist Says: If Prevention is Medically Unglamorous...Be Unglamorous!
“The sages of antiquity did not treat diseases that had already manifested, but diseases which had not yet manifested. When you wait until a disease has broken out to treat it, is that not like waiting to be thirsty to dig a well, or until you’re in battle before casting weapons.“
– Chinese medical Classic
This is an ancient saying in one of the Chinese medical “classics”. While strict proponents of modern medicine look down upon these ancient ways as being simpleminded and unglamorous, a deeper look reveals the wisdom behind its theories.
Modern medicine derives its profits from people being sick. The sicker the population, the more patients rely on the medicine, and the higher the costs get as new diseases develop and new medicines are needed to “cure” (or at least hinder) them.
It’s the perfect setup…IF you’re a stakeholder in the pharmaceutical, insurance, or hospital industry.
Unfortunately, we’ve gotten so far away from the concept of the most powerful medicine being the one that prevents disease from occurring in the first place, that only medical professionals who are limited to treating people once they are sick, can earn the title of “medical doctor” in our country.
Chinese medicine works off the opposite paradigm
As Chinese medicine was developing, the medical structure was completely opposite, and doctors were instead paid to keep their patients well.
Patients went ongoingly to the acupuncturist or herbalist, and using subtle cues from the body, the doctor would recognize “imbalances” long before they turned into symptoms. The doctor would treat those imbalances early, thus preventing further progression into illness or disease.
Very interestingly, doctors with reputations for keeping their patients the healthiest received higher compensation than inferior doctors with less of a track record of wellness. This ability to prevent disease garnered a doctor great prestige.
Conversely, if a patient became sick while under a doctor’s care (minus pathogenic outbreaks), a doctor would not receive compensation for the necessary treatment to alleviate the symptoms.
Because of this compensation structure, there was huge incentive among doctors to research and develop better and better techniques for early detection and treatment of imbalances, and the medicine thus developed over the centuries and millennium with prevention at its foundation.
Using extremely subtle signs such as the color, shape, and coating of the tongue; as well as pulse characteristics, smells, skin colorings, voice, and feelings of heat or cold; doctors were able to detect hyper and/or hypo functionings of the body while a person still felt well, and administer treatments to alter the progression of these cues into symptoms.
Nowadays, we value the spectacular. We think medicine that does nothing but keep someone who’s already feeling good from not feeling bad, is elementary and unglamorous.
We want big fancy machines, men and women with lab coats and scrubs, and high tech drugs that cost a lot of money to develop. There’s not really much fancy about just staying out of the doctor’s office because you simply feel well. Besides…staying well requires personal responsibility…popping a pill doesn’t cut it. It requires following certain dietary practices, and doing things proactively to promote ones health, such as not overworking, getting exercise, using relaxation techniques, or whatever else is part of each person’s self-care routine.
In my practice, that means regular acupuncture and herbal supplements, as well as following whatever lifestyle recommendations I might give.
Many of you have already walked away from modern medicine as much as possible, because you feel better going the natural and preventive way.
But for some of you, you’re still doubting the power and/or importance of prevention.
Certainly, I do admit that for those who’ve been ignoring their health or self-care, it can take several months or longer to restore balance to the body and to go from crisis, to coping, to vibrancy.
But if you know that the alternative (continuing what you’ve been doing) is no longer an option and you’re ready to take the journey of health, you can schedule an appointment by clicking the button below.
Be unglamorous…prevent your own illnesses! :-)