After the diagnosis, treatments are used to adjust or to restore the yin/yang balance within the body. Usually there are more than one therapy prescribed. The therapies include: acupuncture, acupressure, food therapy, exercise, and herbal therapy. The choice of therapy is directly related to the diagnosis and the findings during the diagnostic procedure.
These very important vital substances flow through the body nourishing it, supporting it and maintaining it. The body is in a healthy state when all of the vital substances are present in appropriate amounts. When any of the vital substances are depleted or absent the body can become unhealthy and symptoms such as aches, tension, swelling, indigestion, and fatigue can occur.
The substances flow through meridians that are positioned to link all of the body parts together. Meridians are very important to Chinese therapy. It is through these meridians that therapy can adjust or regulate qi.
The five food tastes are bitter, pungent, salty, and sour and sweet. The Chinese believe that each taste acts upon a different vital organ. Sweet tastes act upon the stomach and spleen, sour tastes act upon the liver and gall bladder, bitter tastes act upon the heart and small intestine and salty tastes act upon the kidney and bladder with the last taste pungent acting upon the lungs and the large intestine.
Each of the five organ systems support each other with the five tastes having a direct influence on the organs it is wise to adhere to proper diet in the percentages recommended in order to promote internal balance and harmony between the body's organs.
Doctors in London England have concluded that 10 different herbs when used as a mixture are effective at treating dermatitis. The conclusion was drawn from a study that had been conducted at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
A report from the University of Exeter by Dr. Ernst states that there are certain herbs that is safe to use such as camomile, garlic, Ginkgo biloba, peppermint, sabal, saw palmetto and St. John's wort. He specifically mentioned that St. John's wort has fewer side effects than the synthetic antidepressants used in western medicine.
Chinese medicine strives to "first, do no harm", when it comes to patient care; something that perhaps is forgotten when it comes to some of the treatments in the U.S. that use invasive procedures and potentially dangerous chemicals. Diagnosis and treatments in the U.S. are disease driven where Chinese medicine focuses on the entire being in order to look for clues that uncover the underlying cause(s) for the imbalance at the root of the symptoms being experienced by the individual.
One vital component of Chinese medicine is that of understanding that the underlying cause of a disease or condition may have both a root and branch to the disease. The root is what causes the disease or condition and the branch develops from that root and is responsible for the obvious manifestations of that disease or condition.
A good example of this is cancer. The root cause of cancer is the yang deficiency, which depletes the energy needed to carry out bodily functions. The branch manifestation is in the fact that because of the root cause (lack of energy) fluid is allowed to build up, forming local masses or excess in organ structure (tumors). Tumors of both benign and malignant follow this pattern.
Fear and Fright are very similar with fear resulting in damage to the kidneys, lower back, and the joints. Fright is sudden and creates heart symptoms such as palpitations, breathlessness, and sustained over a long period of time may lead to kidney damage, lower back issues or joint damage.
Anger is destructive and includes all the negative emotions we have such as irritability, frustration, resentment and rage. Diseases that may occur here are headaches, dizziness, high blood pressure and mental confusion.
The changing seasons means paying attention to the particular needs for food based on outside temperature and yin/yang. Diseases are based on the body's need for energy, which comes from food. If you food intake is poor or irregular, disease can flourish. A poor diet can be from over eating, or from under eating, it can also come from unclean food or rotten food.
The changing seasons dictate not only what foods we eat but how we dress and how much sleep is required and also what exercises are more beneficial for our bodies. Our daily activities and food intake should be adjusted to the season if we are to remain healthy and live long.
All of these tools are important in diagnosing the patient. A diagnosis can not be made accurately by using only one of the above tools. One word does not make a language. The accuracy of diagnosis and treatment depends on the practitioner's ability to discern the language presented by the patient and to be able to respect the flow of that language and to be able to use the information gathered from the tools to interpret the needs of the patient. Restoring the body's balance rests on the ability of the practitioner to interpret and respect what the body is saying
One theory as to why acupuncture works was initiated in 1965 and is called the "Gate Theory of Pain". The theory explains that there are mechanisms that perceive and transmit pain through the nervous system and that very specific nerve fibers transmit pain to the spinal cord. There are other nerve fibers that inhibit the transmission of pain. These two groups of nerve fibers meet at a place called the substancia gelatinosa.
The gateway theory proposes that there is a balance of the pain fibers that inhibit the perception of pain and the fibers that perceive pain. These can be overridden through acupuncture because acupuncture excites the pain inhibitory nerve fibers for a short duration of time thus blocking the perception of pain.