it's an old saying but it still rings true. surely everyone will agree, preventing ill health is smarter than waiting for ill health to strike. and it's saying that has never been more appropriate with all the bad press about hospitals not being fit for purpose, as well as the side effects of modern day cures. in the uk the irony of the national health service (NHS) is that it only pays lip service to health; it's vast resources are almost entirely directed at coming up with illness treatments!
well, that's just the way it is, and don't get me wrong, I've worked for the NHS (both as a health professional and as an acupuncturist). and I've been an NHS patient! there's plenty to admire about the work they do to keep the nation on it's feet. but do the NHS treat people when they are healthy, so that people can get the best and avoid the worst out of life when it comes to health matters? not in my experience and I suspect not in yours. perhaps the NHS, and western medicine generally, could take a leaf out of eastern medical practice, and master acupuncture in particular, by directing more resources at preventing the causes of ill health.
the aim of the master acupuncturist is to see his/her clients only four times a year and to treat them to promote continuing health & harmony. of course, most of my acupuncture clients do not initially contact me because they want to stay healthy. understandably, in our culture we wait until we have a health problem and then resolve to do something about it. so, working in my uk clinical practice, I treat people for their varied symptoms of ill health. but once the symptoms have cleared up (and a recent study showed that 85% of clients receiving master acupuncture courses of treatment had their symptoms resolved), that's when I get the opportunity to invite clients on to the 'change of season' healthy treatment programme.
now let me say right now, there is no medical system that can guarantee 'health, wealth and happiness' for anyone. but in theory, it ought to be possible to reduce the chances of becoming ill and increase the chances of becoming healthier; and in practice, there is, with master acupuncture!
to do this there needs to be an examination of the main causes of ill health. the master acupuncturist will say there is only one cause i.e. an imbalance of organic energy (qi) that, by degrees, increases to the point that symptoms of illness manifest. so qi imbalance creates a state or pattern of disharmony.
in our modern western culture we understand this as conflict creating stress, and we know that stress leads to system distress and can eventually lead to illness.
it's not surprising, the way we live these days, how quickly stress can build up in us. the modern pace of life is very demanding, and even though we know enough about how we can stay healthy e.g. the work, rest, relaxation balance etc., well life just seems to intervene and all too often we end up with ill health if we are not prepared.
the objective in the 'change of season' treatment programme is, in master acupuncture jargon, a) rebalancing five element qi and b) harmonising guest/host qi for the new season. or, in modern understanding, the prevention of stress build up that can lead to symptoms of illness manifesting. there are two parts in this approach a) reducing current stress levels and b) protection from future stress antagonists.
getting the best out of each season and avoiding the worst from each season, in terms of health, wealth and happiness is a smart approach when it comes to "prevention is better than cure". master acupuncturists know that each person has their own unique 'personal energy signature'*, created at the time of their birth. they also know the energy signature of each unique season. armed with this knowledge, the master acupuncturist will assess the client using the traditional four methods of diagnosis and, crucially, take into account the client's plans and needs for the coming season. then it's on to the acupuncture treatment and quite often advice/suggestions for getting the best out of the next three months.
master acupuncture energy signature chart
*'personal energy signatures' when analysed reveal the predispositions that each of us have to contracting specific
conditions, much the same as genetic scanning achieves in western medicine. our constitutional strengths & weaknesses can be identified and balanced to promote health & harmony
"prevention is better than cure" is a theme that I will be returning to in upcoming blogs on 'specific conditions and what you can do (as well as the master acupuncturist) to reduce the likelihood of these conditions occurring.'