One of the things that I like about Chinese medicine is that it treats disease from the inside out. This means that, unlike western medicine, we are not just treating the symptoms. This is a bit harsh because some of the western medicine does treat the cause, such as in an infection. An infection is cause by a pathogen and drugs are given to kill the pathogen. But in many cases and especially in chronic conditions, the symptoms alone are treated. For instance migraine is treated with drugs to kill the pain. But the underlying cause of the migraine, the reason one person gets migraines and another person does not, is not addressed. In Chinese medicine we will always ask why (unless you fell off your bike hurt your knee and there is no doubt). This is what I mean by treating disease from the inside out. To really cure something the deepest cause must be fixed. If the symptoms alone are treated than the disease mechanism which underlies it can, and usually will, go right on marching alone, getting stronger. And often a root cause that is not addressed will go deeper. This is how severe chronic conditions are created and how nearly untreatable disease can happen. It's always easier to treat a disease before it settles deep in the body. It's always easier for instance to treat a skin condition before it does deeper and effects the muscles and even deeper and effects an organ.
Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond