At the core of Traditional Chinese Medicine is the focus placed on addressing the 'root' cause of a disease. This lies in contrast to many other schools of medical thought, which will often direct treatment at the branch manifestations, or the symptoms of the disease instead.
Although treating the symptoms may have rapid therapeutic effects and quickly resolve the issue, it does not provide the body with the opportunity to truly heal. It is like making a judgement about the health of a tree by looking at its branches, without considering what is happening under the soil. Simply trimming back the branches will not help a diseased tree if it is the roots that are infected; they will continue to grow back diseased. The only way to thoroughly heal the tree would be to address its' diseased roots.
Often branch treatment relies on an external substances like medications to address a symptom, and upon cessation of the medication the symptom instantly returns. This is not a true correction of the issue.
This concept of root and branch treatment can be better illustrated with an example. Consider a common digestive disturbance, such as heartburn or acid reflux. Treatment options for this would be to take medication such as antacids or proton pump inhibitors (PPI), which either neutralise the acid in the stomach or block the production of acid. This approach, as it is however, is not addressing the actual underlying cause of the excess stomach acid, it is merely viewing the condition at face value and attempting to cover it up. On the other hand, a Chinese medicine root treatment approach would be to determine why there is excess stomach acid in the first place, or why this substance is reverting upwards against its’ normal trajectory. Treatment protocols from this ‘root’ approach would involve correcting the physiological imbalances that led to improper production of stomach acid, or determining and healing the structural defect that is causing it to reflux upwards.
Although a root treatment approach may take a bit longer, by targeting the underlying cause, it will resolve the problem more permanently. The benefit of a root treatment approach is that it actually teaches the body how to correct the underlying imbalances that led to to these problems. This creates a more resilient system that becomes equipped to heal itself in the future. Your body learns how to be its’ own medicine, instead of relying on something external to it.
This is why your Chinese medicine practitioner will often recommend more than one treatment session and monitor your condition throughout to observe the underlying changes occurring. While we have become accustomed to quick fix solutions for health matters, our body's own subtle healing mechanisms often take a little time to correct any imbalances and, if we are patient, can grant us long term healing benefits.
Care Cure are Ireland's leading Traditional Chinese Medicine specialists. If you would like to speak with one of our practitioners about any health concerns please give us a call or book a free consultation where you will receive full TCM diagnosis and advice on treatment options.
We have clinics in the Merrion Shopping Center, Dublin 4 or 53 Georges St, Lwr.