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The Cause Of Disease From A Chinese Medicine Perspective

     153577630_a2cd2ed734_zDid you know you can take control of your life and health by adjusting your lifestyle and diet? Beyond the well-known public health messaging of “Eat Less, Exercise More”, your body is a complex system of microorganisms that can fall out of balance with the slightest irritation to something you have eaten or are doing in your day-to-day life.

     I feel good knowing that most chronic disease arises from something I am doing and not something external to me.  I am still working on fine tuning my health.  It is always a work in progress.  This is not just to cure disease but to also prevent disease and gain longevity.  If you take charge of your health now you will be  stronger, healthier and more coherent  in old age.  You will also save money on all the costs related to chronic disease.

     In this post I will only discuss the symptoms related to spleen qi deficiency.  There are many other visceral organs and each one has its own pathology and symptoms. I only mentioned spleen qi weakness because most Americans suffer from this to one degree or another. Subscribe to my blog to be notified of future posts focusing on other organs.

A brief discussion on the formation of illness from a Chinese Medical perspective.

     Chinese Medicine has been used for thousands of years to help alleviate suffering caused by disease.  Unlike modern western medicine Chinese medicine looks to alleviate all suffering at its root.  Western medicine can be helpful in cases that are immediate and life threatening but as long term care for chronic illness it is not very reliable.

     While western medicine works to alleviate the symptoms of a disease Chinese medicine works to alleviate the root of disease.  “Root of disease” is a term used a lot by alternative medical practitioners but most patients do not understand what that really means.  Spleen qi weakness is a Chinese Medicine diagnosis it can also be a root cause of many health problems.  The spleen is a very important organ for digestive function as well as for cognitive function.
     Symptoms of spleen qi weakness are: weak muscles, fatigue, bloating, clouded thinking, anxiety, loose stools, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, low immunity, depression, digestive weakness, obesity, malnutrition, picky eating habits, easily bruising etc. There are a lot of symptoms with spleen qi weakness.  In Chinese medical terms spleen qi weakness is the root while fatigue would be an observable manifestation.  Chinese medicine doctors have analyzed how symptoms fit together with other diagnostic techniques to point to a certain root cause.
     In Chinese Medicine the spleen plays a major role in digestion, mental function, muscle strength, fluid metabolism, menstruation, immunity, mood etc.  The Spleen does not have these functions in Western Medicine but in Chinese Medicine the Spleen has great importance for overall health.
   So how do you get spleen qi weakness?  Very easily.  Irregular eating habits, consuming dairy, consuming excessively sweet foods, eating processed foods, irregular sleeping habits, excessive worry, sedentary lifestyle, living in a damp environment, drinking cold liquids, eating excessive amounts of raw foods, lack of exercise, congenital weakness, etc.
All patients need to understand that it took a while for them to get their health to where it is. It will take a while to turn their health around as well.

    For example if a patient comes in with digestive problems, low immunity and fatigue.  I would use acupuncture, Chinese herbs and other modalities to strengthen their spleen function.  For the treatment to really be effective the patient should also follow the dietary advice that is offered as well.  Diet and lifestyle got the patient into their mess and for most changing their eating habits and lifestyle habits is the only way for them to see lasting results.  Acupuncture and Chinese herbs alone can produce tremendous changes in a persons health, but for long term maintenance and to sustain the effects of treatment the patient needs to take responsibility for their own health.

     Do not expect Chinese medicine to be a magic pill that can fix all of your ills.  It can be but you have to put the effort in to make the changes yourself.  The more that someone changes their diet and lifestyle the more acupuncture and herbal treatment will be effective.

– Enjoy
Photo:  ‘Chinese Medicine’ by Victoria Reay Courtesy of Creative Commons
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