The core beliefs underlying my study and practice of Chinese medicine are a direct extension of my basic understanding and approach to life, and they are grounded in Taoist, Chinese medical, and yogic philosophies.
I believe there is an innate 'wisdom' in the nature and design of the human being. This wisdom, or 'internal knowing', as I like to think of it, can be appreciated from a rational intelligence perspective, but, ultimately, it extends beyond what the mind can comprehend; true understanding comes by way of 'direct experience'.
This internal wisdom is an expression of the very same core principles underlying all things in the universe. That is, the same rules and ways governing the human being, body and mind, can be seen at the heart of any process occurring in nature.
Health, at its most basic level, is the free, uninhibited movement and expression of this innate wisdom. It is the 'internal knowing' happening in the day-to-day world.
Illness is a an indication of the body's wisdom being impeded. It is the result of that inner knowing being blocked, not allowed to 'do' as it knows and wants to do.
Good health is, literally, the way we are designed to be. It can be understood as the purpose of being human. Disease is a reflection of how we're 'off' in some way.
I love Chinese medicine because over the last several thousand years, through billions of patient interactions, it has collected a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience about human beings and our innate wisdom of health and healing.
Symptoms of ill health, be they medically recognized, as in 'headache' or 'indigestion', or less tangible, as in 'just not feeling right', point directly to that aspect of inner knowing that is not being allowed full expression. The body is not designed to have headaches. Where there is a headache, something isn't right, something isn't as it should be.
It is for this very reason I am uncomfortable with simply making symptoms 'go away'. Symptoms, including any sign or sensation of 'just being off', are very useful, informational indicators of internal imbalance. (There are exceptions, such as in severe pain or other serious conditions that require immediate and full attention.)
Chinese medicine, as a unique system of medicine completely separate and different from Western medicine, has come to a very rich understanding of health and disease. It is capable of connecting symptoms (physical or mental/emotional) to exactly how the person is off.
Truly, what sets my practice of Chinese medicine apart from the practice of other systems of medicine is my ability to connect symptoms to A) physical systems of the body (eg. liver, heart, etc.), B) mental and emotional states, and C) how the inner 'purpose' of that person's life is being obstructed. This is why Chinese medicine is often referred to as both a physical and spiritual medicine.
Often times, a patient comes in with a specific problem, such as elbow pain or sleep difficulties. My style of practice allows me to ascertain how that symptom relates to the physical body (i.e. what's 'causing' it), while simultaneously drawing connections between that specific symptom and many other symptoms or issues in life (many of which the person may not have even considered a problem, or serious enough for which to seek treatment).
Then, I am able to tie all of this information into a comprehensive understanding of how that patient is being impeded from fulling their life's purpose, according to the innate wisdom existent at their very core. I consider this true medicine, in that it understands and is able to treat all aspects of a person and all types and levels of suffering, with the end goal being complete health and happiness.
Sometimes a patient simply wants physical relief. Other times, they have a sense that the symptom or problem is connected to something deeper and would like to explore the source of their suffering. Many times they have seen their Western physician and are unhappy with either the Western understanding and explanation of what's going on or they are uncomfortable with the suggested treatment. Either way, this medicine has much to offer, and I am happy to help in whatever way is desired.
When the patient desires simple alleviation of pain or discomfort, I try to help with as few treatments as possible. Further, I like to teach the patient what they can do themselves to reduce the chances of the problem coming back. Examples include changes in diet, exercises to practice at home, or perhaps changes in daily behavior.
When the patient wants more comprehensive treatment, clinical discussion expands to all areas of life, past, present, and future. Deeper connections and themes interwoven throughout physical, mental, and emotional aspects of life are uncovered. Mood and quality of life, along side physical health, see steady improvement, as the patient increases conscious involvement in, and experience of, life.
I believe the human being is a truly profound creature with unbelievable potential. It is an honor and unending pleasure to assist people in making the most of their individual human experience!
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