One Treatment to Address Many Health Conditions
Woman 56 years old. Primary concern: neck pain. Secondary concerns: headaches and hot flushes.
The beauty of Traditional Chinese Medicine is how the conditions that a person presents with are often related to each other. With regards to hot flushes these are related to the Heart and Kidneys. As a person ages the Kidneys start to decline and the relationship between the Heart and Kidneys starts to weaken. The Heart, when functioning normally, allows the mind to rest creating sound sleep. The Kidneys regulate the temperature of the body. Headaches are mostly due to a Liver Qi Stagnation. The Liver in a healthy state, encourages the function of all the other organs. But due to stress and poor diet, the Liver can become aggressive. This results in headaches and dizziness. The Liver also has a relationship with the Heart and can overcome and weaken the Heart.
In this case study, the primary health concern is pain and to get the best results I have found that it is necessary to ignore the secondary symptoms. The body responds well when specific and few acupuncture points are used. It will become confused and not respond if too many needles are applied and if the acupuncturist attempts to treat too many conditions at the same time.
But, interestingly, often without treating these secondary symptoms directly, they show improvement. Why? Because the organs are interrelated, when one channel is needled, it often has an affect on other channels. In this case, the areas of the Lungs, the Kidneys or the Small Intestine are considered when treating neck pain. The paired organ of the Heart is the Small Intestine and so it is readily understood that needling the Small Intestine could directly affect the Heart and similar when needling the Kidneys which are a major player in hot flushes. But what about the Lungs? The Lungs support the function of the Kidneys, which then influences the Heart. So, one can start to get an idea how these all work together.
And finally, there is the secondary symptom of Headaches. Because there is pain in the body, usually points on the Liver channel will be added. With a painful condition, that which allows pain to enter the body is Wind. Wind is considered a chariot or carrier. Because the Liver is directly associated with Wind, treating the Liver eliminates the Wind and reduces pain. And so, there are two methods applied in this situation to treat pain, both directly by adding distal points that treat the pain, and also treating the Wind component of pain.
Here, we are indirectly treating the headaches, because the main contributor of headaches as was said earlier is a Liver Qi Stagnation.
Intention is key to a successful treatment. By focusing on the primary concern, the whole body is treated. This is something that I have observed many times in clinic.