THE HEALTH PARADIGM
The current American lifestyle causes a large amount of concern among people who care about health. There has been a dramatic increase in noncommunicable diseases within the last decade, and that number is still rising. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seven out of every ten deaths are attributed to chonic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (e.g. heart attack and stroke).
Right now at least two paradigms of healing exist in our society. One paradigm, which centers around diagnosing and treating disease, takes a mechanistic approach to illness in which the patient’s symptoms are combated with pharmaceuticals and/or surgery. This approach assumes that if the patient’s symptoms improve via painkillers, antibiotics, steroids, or other suppressive treatments, then the patient is cured.
A second paradigm, the one that has always been embraced by Chinese medicine, looks at a person as a whole and acts to stimulate his or her healing, even before disease is apparent. This paradigm strives to maintain homeostasis within the body, allowing it to function optimally and thereby promoting improved health. Disease symptoms function as messengers to tell us what is going on in the body and can direct the practitioner to treat certain systems to bring better health. Symptoms merely indicate the existence of a “dis-ease” in the body–that is, an imbalance. When symptoms appear, they are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg that for some time has been developing beneath the surface. This paradigm approaches symptoms as indicators of something going on deeper in the body; rather than merely suppressing the symptom, it strives to find and remove its true cause.
Qi Stagnation, Blood Stagnation and Organ Imbalances
How imbalance affects your health1.) Qi: Energy or Vital force. Meridians: pathways of Qi that travel along the exterior and through the interior of the body, connecting the organs to every part of the body. Qi Stagnation: a.) An interruption in the flow of Qi through the meridians. Like a kink in a garden hose. b.) An interruption of communication from the organs to any cell or tissue in the body, often causing functional organ imbalances. 2.) Blood: The fluid that circulates through your body and brings your cells what they need to function correctly, including: water, oxygen, nutrients, minerals, salts, hormones and enzymes. The Blood also takes away those things that interfere with the function of the cells including carbon dioxide and waste. Blood stagnation: An interruption of the flow of Blood through the smallest vessels, called capillaries, which supply all the cells, organs, joints, etc. 3.) Organs: bodily structures that perform the physiologic functions necessary for the body to survive. For example: the lungs oxygenate the Blood and take out carbon dioxide, the stomach and intestines break down food into nutrients and supply them to the body via the Blood. The organs are the lungs, large intestine, stomach, spleen, liver, gall bladder, pericardium, heart, small intestine, kidneys and bladder. Organ Imbalance: a state of abnormal organ function due to deficiency or excess. Every organ interacts with every other. Imbalances in the liver, for example, can negatively affect the digestion of the stomach.
Working together, the Qi, Blood, and Body Organs
determine the dynamic health of the body.Organ imbalance, Qi and Blood stagnation are caused by any physical, emotional or chemical stress a person cannot adapt to. At first, stress only affects us on a more energetic level. However, as stress persists over time the effects become more material and manifest in the body in various ways: from tension and pain to arthritis, tumors and disability. The longer a condition is allowed to go untreated, the less chance there is for recovery. What began as a minor problem or discomfort may lead to irreversible damage. The purpose of Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is to return the flow of Qi and Blood back to normal and to have the organs working at their peak. This will in turn restore function to the affected area. If detected early, Qi/Blood stagnation and organ imbalances respond well to Chinese medicine with an excellent chance for a complete and painless recovery.