Chinese Medicine's Definition of Health

Author: 
Dr. Ni-HaiSha
Source: 
JH Chinese Medicine Research Center

Chinese Medicine's Definition of Health

A simple diagram can illustrate Chinese medicine's definition of health compared with Western medicine's.

Western Medicine

HEALTHY STAGE

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--------+--------Standard
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Disease Stage

Chinese Medicine

HEALTHY STAGE

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---------+--------Standard
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Symptoms Stage
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---------+--------
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Disease Stage

As seen in the illustration above. Western medicine's definition of health does not include symptoms. Western medicine waits until symptoms eventually manifest into a specific disease entity before beginning treatment. Chinese medicine takes a different approach. Chinese medicine listens to all patient symptom complaints and takes them very seriously. We understand the fact that all symptoms are part of the body's natural warning system. They are all signs that a disease will eventually manifest. In Chinese medicine, all treatment is done in the symptoms stage whenever possible. As long as the patient is in the symptoms stage, they can be 100% cured. Once the symptoms have finally culminated into a disease, then it is too late. This is why Western medicine can never cure any disease.

Take a child with asthma for example. Before the child is diagnosed with asthma, symptoms such as coughing, chest congestion, and difficulty breathing are observed. Yet these symptoms are all ignored or temporarily suppressed with drugs. It isn't until asthma manifests when real treatment is begun. But by then it is too late. The treatments at best will only exert a palliative effect and the patient will most likely be on medications for the rest of his/her life.

Hypertension is another example. Chinese medicine sees hypertension as a symptom, not a disease. It is the body's early warning call. When Chinese medicine diagnosis your symptoms, it doesn't necessarily mean you have a “disease”. Symptoms are the body's way of telling you that disease will ensue if you don't treat them and let them progress.

Once a patient's symptoms have progressed into a disease, Western medicine finds a sophisticated sounding name for it. Since every person's body is different, symptoms displayed by every person will be different. The myriad of different symptoms means that there can be an endless amount of 'diseases'. Chinese medicine does not wait for symptoms to progress and then try to name the resulting disease. Our philosophy here is to treat ALL symptoms as soon as possible in it's earliest stages. Under these ideal principles, disease, therefore, would be an impossibility.


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