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Tune up your body and help it heal!

November 1, 2013


Chinese medicine physician tune the body from a macroscopic,holistic point of view. We use such techniques as acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, bloodletting, and cupping to organize the body’s internal environment. In the big network of our body, we use those modalities to help the energy in the meridians to flow smoothly and without blockage. In this way, the energy and nutrients can be spread among all the internal organs without obstruction. The toxins can be more easily metabolized and expelled out of our body. If there is any organ functional deficiency or disorder, we use herbal medicine to strengthen the organ’s function. Most organ functional deficiencies are explained in terms of “cold” and “dampness” within the affected organ. If you could visualize your pancreas as bloated, cold and humid, that would convey the idea that it is not doing its job very well. In this situation, a Chinese physician will use herbal medicine to reduce the cold and dampness to help that organ. When the pancreas is no longer cold and damp, its functional energy will be recovered and it function well again. Its physiological function will return to normal.

As for the liver, a typical functional disorder is called “qi stagnation.” In the five-element Chinese medical tradition, the liver belongs to the element wood. Wood likes to be sparse. In other words, it is said that the liver is like wood and likes to be trimmed, so that it can be growing better. The Chinese physician uses acupuncture to resolve the problem of “qi stagnation.” If the disorder is severe, herbal medicine will be necessary. This will disperse the liver qi stagnation, liver fire, inflammation and blood stasis; herbs will also help spread the liver qi energy. Through those kinds of methods, we can unblock the energy flow of meridians, so the toxins can be easily moved out of our body and clean up our internal environment.

Often naturopaths and nutritionists will recommend fruit and/or vegetable juices to detoxify the body. This method needs to be adjusted to the individual patient’s constitution. If not, some people may find themselves weakened in the long term. In my practice I have seen many patients whose organ functions were actually weakened after following such diets. But acupuncture and herbal medicine can also help recover.

Nutrition is important and necessary, even fundamental. Knowing the nature and character of the foods we eat helps us balance our diet. On the other hand, it is possible to fall into extremes, such as consuming no fats. Fats are as important as any other nutrient. Essential fatty acids are indispensable for health, and those can only come from certain fats and oils, such as fish oil, flax oil, and many other entirely beneficial vegetable oils. Modern research has shown that “trans fats” and hydrogenated vegetable oils are linked to modern chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Knowing which oils are beneficial and which aren’t is therefore essential for deciding what oils to cook with, what oils to use as supplements, and so on.

In my practice, usually I will ask patients about what they eat and what kind of oils they use for cooking. I will give them dietary suggestions according to their physical constitution and current health issues. By doing so, in the course of treatments, it will help get better results. This will also help build a good foundation of health.

Nowadays, it is becoming popular among people to take supplements. If those supplements have good qualities, and people are taking those moderately based on their individual condition and functional nutritional needs, that will be helpful for those who have only or mostly nutritional deficiencies. But for those patients who have more serious energy blockages, organ functional energy deficiencies and yin/yang imbalances, nutritional supplements may not be absorbed properly. Then a purely nutritional approach will not be helpful.

To tune up our body and help it heal, we first have to organize our entire internal environment. The energy of meridians has to flow smoothly and all organs have to be functioning at their optimal level. Then our food can be absorbed properly and toxins can easily be metabolized and excreted out of our body.

Some self discipline about doing exercise like yoga and qi gong, having a good diet, spiritual practice, meditation and choosing our life style wisely, will go a long way toward our healing.

Written by Sophia Tang


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