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These '8 Principles' are the basic categories acupuncturists traditionally use to decide how to treat a disease:
Western medicine usually analyses disease by subjecting it to minute scientific study. Medical laboratories have formidable scientific techniques and instruments to examine and test diseased conditions.
From these test results or from his experience and considerable knowledge your doctor knows whether the disease is due to a pathogen - a bug - or to a breakdown or malfunction of your system.
He can then send you a prescription or recommend treatment. If successful, your pain ceases and your body returns to health.
For many, the trouble is that orthodox medication and treatment often cause further problems, or ultimately weaken your system, making you dependent on more treatment.
Chinese medicine also aims to return your body to health with the absence of pain. Compared to modern medicine, its techniques are, on the face of it, rudimentary.
Indeed, some of what they do might have been part of what doctors in the West did in the past, though in part long since abandoned.
For example, pulse-taking to elicit not just speed but your pulse quality; taking full cognizance of your skin discoloration, not just where the pain or problem is but of your face and demeanour; hearing not just the words spoken but the sound of your speaking voice; smelling you (Yes! Sorry!) and knowing what different odours might mean.
The Western medicine way of doing laboratory investigations to confirm a diagnosis or supply information leading to treatment can take time.
#51665253 © photoestelar
Much faster than that, indeed sometimes within a minute or two, practitioners of Chinese medicine can often decide where your disease is coming from and importantly, how serious it is and how to treat it to get you back to balance. This is what the 8 Principles do.
Use the wrong technique and you can make it worse.
Unfortunately, modern medicine often uses methods that clear symptoms but do the wrong thing for the energy of the body.
For example, cooling when according to Chinese medicine, there is already Cold in it.
However, it doesn’t go on to strengthen the system which would be the automatic next step in Chinese medicine. Also, it overlooks the potential harm done to the system by the medication.
The vital thing, in Chinese medicine, is not to harm the system: not to weaken the inner life force, called the 'Upright Qi'. This Upright Qi is a bit like your system's immune force, but goes further.
Not only does your Upright Qi include your immune system, it includes all the
ways your body can go on to repair itself. Even if that Upright Qi's battle with the invading pathogen - the bug - is
causing painful symptoms for you, it is absolutely critical
not to weaken it.
If you weaken it, then you weaken your ability to fight the bug and get well quickly. This might lead to prolonged low-level symptoms.
Depending on circumstances these might be a runny nose, slight cough, snoring, low spirits, craving for sweet food and continuing tiredness even long after the bug or pain has gone. (Find out more about this at Suppression.)
The 400 year-old theory of the Four Levels is very relevant nowadays. That's because we worry about how our bodies will cope with 'invasion' by 'warm' diseases such as from the corona virus.
The Four levels theory explains how our bodies erect 'energetic' barrier levels to the invasion.
The first two levels deal with fever. Modern pain-killers and antibiotics are very good at quelling fever. The theory says that if your body can't stop the invasion at one level, the disease goes deeper. If you do that, your body's reaction is weaker and more long-lasting.
In other words, your condition becomes chronic. You'll try endless types of self-medication, vitamin pills, anti-catarrh herbs. You'll become the bane of your doctor's life!
Why? You weakened your Upright Qi with medication at a critical moment when it was fighting to get its health back.
In fact, you often eventually take these symptoms as being normal to health. You think you're well!
In Chinese medicine, if your Upright Qi is strong your acupuncturist, using these 8 Principles as his guide, will want first to direct all efforts at clearing the bug, the external invading cause of the condition.
If he tries to strengthen your Upright Qi before the bug has gone, he may increase your pain and discomfort, as your immune system fights harder. Unfortunately, in effect, he may also increase the strength of the bug.
Worse, by forcing the Upright Qi to fight even
harder, he may exhaust it. Doctors might really benefit from this simple 8 Principles knowledge.
For example, it might stop them confusing a weak condition caused by poor health, with an infection caused by a bug.
In the weak condition case, they'd avoid giving antibiotics because knowledge of the 8 Principles would warn them that the medication would only cause harm in the long term.
Alternatively, ring him on 07950 012501 or freephone (only free to telephone within the UK) 0800 298 7015.
All the books in the 'Chinese Medicine in English' series should be fully accessible on Kindles and Kindle apps. (Or you can buy the softback print editions, of course.)
('Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine' published 1986, was never available in a Kindle version.)
If, having read one of my books you can write a review - preferably positive - that would help others decide whether to read it.
You can put your review on Amazon or, on this site, here.
And if you think it was terrible?
Well, let me know so I can improve it for the next person. (Ideally let me know before cursing it in public!)
Here are some of the books I (Jonathan) have written.
Subscribers to Kindle Unlimited can borrow the first four for 'free'.
Published 1986 and, amazingly, still selling. Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine was apparently used back then by at least one acupuncture college to help students understand Chinese medicine! See Reviews.
Seven Reviews so far for Yuck Phlegm. (Despite the lurid cover, it explains the five main types of phlegm and what works best for each type. I hope it's easy to read and will be much more useful than all the websites on the subject.)
3000 years of Chinese being stressed, and at last, here's a book showing how all that experience can help you!
By the author of this website, it explains in simple English how to use stress to improve and enhance your life.
NB You can also order 'Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress' from your bookseller.
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