It’s been a busy month at my clinic in Crouch End with a run on frozen shoulders, a particularly chronic case of migraine and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) among the conditions my clients have required treatment for.
But as is often the case, people rarely have one thing they are suffering from but perhaps a range of seemingly unrelated health issues, one of which is bothering them the most. Acupuncturists are trained to diagnose the whole person, and will often find that someone’s symptoms are a reflection of a more systemic problem (in terms of Chinese medicine). So the symptom is not directly treated but the patient still recovers.
It’s also the case that acupuncturists treating say a neck problem, may needle an acu point on the ankle and on the hand rather than the area where the pain is most acute. The patient still recovers.
Chinese medicine regards emotions with equal importance to physical symptoms and certain emotions are often found alongside specific conditions. For example, IBS is a problem of the spleen, and anxiety is the emotion connected with the spleen. I’ve yet to see a case of IBS without anxiety being present in some form. When you treat the spleen and it’s partner organ, the stomach, both symptoms, anxiety and IBS, improve.
So while most of my clients will leave my clinic feeling their main complaint has been addressed; they can move their shoulder at last or they haven’t had a migraine for two weeks, they’ll also find that they’re sleeping better, that niggly cough has gone, and they have more energy. Those are the positive side effects of treating the person, not just the symptoms.