The Yin and Yang of Disease

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Lately I’ve been reading a book that some of you may already be familiar with, it’s called “The Web that Has No Weaver”.  It’s an introduction to understanding Traditional Chinese Medicine and the ways that it looks at diseases differently than Western medicine.  I’m only into the first couple of chapters, but so far, its been quite interesting.

While I’m still trying to wrap my head around some of the more elusive concepts like qi, the spirits of the organs, etc., one of the things I’ve appreciated most is the fact that the Chinese look at diseases as patterns of disruption in the body that can affect every system.  They don’t look for an isolated cause to tell you why you have cancer or hypertension or eczema, they look at the pattern of your body that can affect everything about your life, including your mood, your mental state, and every system in the body.  Diseases have different aspects to them, some are more “yin”, (deficiencies and depressions of systems) , and some are more “yang” (excess, too much heat, aggression, anger, etc.)  It’s fascinating to think about, really.

The more and more I study medicine, the more I think that using this kind of integrated approach to analyze our health would lead to more effective treatment and better recovery.  Everything in the body is linked, and disruption in one system will eventually affect another.  Take the endocrine system, for example.  If you have an excess or deficiency of one hormone, you’re likely to develop another.  Too much insulin can lead to everything from diabetes to hypertension, infertility and dementia.  Each person is different in the way that their body adapts, so insulin resistance in one person may lead to something entirely different than in another person.

This is where its so helpful to have someone come alongside you and help you take a look at your life and your current state of health.  It’s sometimes hard to see our own patterns.  When you have someone who is willing to spend the time with you that it takes to really understand whats going on in your life, they may be able to give you a perspective you wouldn’t have otherwise seen, and information that you may not otherwise have access to.  Whether its a physician, an oriental medicine practitioner, a chiropractor, or a health coach, I encourage you to find someone in your life that will be on your side.  Someone who has the time to spend with you, the openness to really listen to you and get to the bottom of your health concerns, and the desire to support you as you make changes to your life.  You can take back your health, and you may be surprised at just how far the journey will take you.  Why not give it a try?

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