REDUCTION OF SYMPTOMS SUCH AS PAIN, INFLAMMATION, AND LIMITED MOTION.
• The importance of the relief phase is to have you feel better as quickly as possible.
Relief Care: A minimal program of treatment that gets your body to a point where you don’t have symptoms for 3-4 weeks.
RESTORATION OF NORMAL HEALTHFUL BODY FUNCTION.
• The goal of this stage of care is to facilitate the body’s natural abilities to heal and stabilize itself.
A large percentage of healing takes place during this phase.
Corrective Care: A program of treatment that eliminates the cause of a problem by restoring as much function and health to the body as possible. It usually takes place over a period of months or even years. In acupuncture, that means the circulation of qi and blood are restored and the organs are as strong and balanced as possible.
MAINTENANCE AND EXPANSION OF THE PROGRESS AND HEALTH ACHIEVED
• The value of this phase is to maintain the progress you have achieved to support ongoing healing and to help prevent future health problems.
Maintenance care: A course of treatment which takes place once a patient’s circulation and imbalances have already been corrected. At this stage a patient may only need treatment once a month or even once every 6 months. The goal of Maintenance Care is to keep the patient at the level of health achieved in Corrective Care and prevent problems despite the stresses of life.
An Analogy: A Leaky Roof
The function of your roof is to prevent water from leaking into your house. If the roof is not functioning properly, every time it rains water will leak through. However, you don’t usually know this is going on while the shingles and the wood beneath rot. The process can go on for a long time before a stain develops in your ceiling or water begins to drip through. Eventually, every time it rains it will leak into your house.
To deal with the problem, you could put a bucket under the leak and mop up the floor, but the damage to your house will continue to get worse. To correct the problem, you must fix the cause of the leak by fixing the roof so that it functions properly again.
It takes more time and money up front to fix the roof than to mop the floor, but in the long run it saves you time, energy, money and your house.
In people, there can be malfunction and disease processes that go on for a long time before any symptoms show up. Only after the function has degenerated to a certain point do symptoms appear and you start to suffer.
To relieve the symptoms, you can take drugs or apply ice, but when you stop them the symptoms return. When you treat the underlying cause of disease and improve the overall function of the body, symptoms will naturally disappear. As function improves and the disease pattern is breaking down, symptoms will fluctuate as the body tries to heal. The more function you have, the fewer symptoms there will be. It is only when the cause is corrected will symptoms go away and stay away.
Relief care is like putting a bucket underneath the leak. Corrective care is like repairing the roof. Maintenance care is like tending to the roof as it wears from unavoidable environmental stress.
Corrective Care is the care necessary not only to relieve or reduce a person’s pain or symptoms, but also to remove the actual cause of the problem.
For example, a person might have headaches, which resulted from a breakdown in organ function, blood stagnation, or energy stagnation. These can cause an effect—a reduction in blood supply to the head—which in turn results in headaches.
Relief Care focuses on the symptoms: the headaches. Relief Care would be similar to taking Aspirin, which, although it may temporarily alleviate headaches, does nothing to correct the underlying cause.
Corrective Care focuses on making certain the underlying stagnation and organ imbalance—the cause—are corrected and therefore the headaches—the result—are gone.
How long does corrective care take?
Not everyone can reach complete correction. Sometimes a person’s problem has reached a point that complete correction not is possible. Your acupuncturist will inform you of the severity of your problem and if correction is possible.
Correcting a person’s function is similar to pouring cement into a mold. If you remove the mold before the cement hardens, you lose the object you wanted to create.
Continue your care:
Research shows that the body takes longer to heal than the pain or symptoms last. Continued care encourages your body to heal faster and more completely than on-again / off-again treatments.