Chinese medicine has for many thousands of years recognized the wisdom of focusing on maintaining health, rather than curing illness. Traditionally in China patients were treated when in good health and receive free treatment from their practitioner if they became sick.
From the perspective of Chinese medicine it is absurd to think that one day we are healthy and the next day we become sick with a serious illness, such as a heart attack or kidney failure. Chinese medicine believes that these, and other major illnesses, are the result of imbalances within the vital energy, chi, which have gradually become more pronounced, finally manifesting in a major illness.
Detecting the very early signs of imbalances within the chi and correcting them before they manifest in a serious illness is the goal of preventive treatment. The Five Element tradition of acupuncture is especially well suited to maintaining health because diagnosis and treatment are based not on a patient's symptoms, but rather on the energetic imbalances of the five elements and the overall quality of the patient's chi.
Assessing subtle imbalances in the elements is accomplished in a number of ways. These include observing the patient's emotions, the body odor, facial color, and the sound and quality of the voice. In addition, pulses on the wrist are taken. The pulses are taken in three positions and at two depths; altogether 12 different pulses. Each of the 12 pulses is associated with a particular meridian such as the liver, spleen, kidney, etc. There can be many different qualities in the pulse such as weak, slow, agitated, or tight. Acupuncture texts name as many as 28 qualities. Not only is the general quality of each individual pulse assessed, but also the relative balance of the chi between the 12 different pulses is noted and used to assess the overall state of a patient's health.
Traditionally in China maintenance treatments are given at the change of each season. At these times during a major transition in nature there is often a profound effect on our own chi. For instance as the chi declines as we enter the cooler months of the year, this transition can be supported by Chinese medicine, which strengthens our system and makes us less susceptible to colds and flus.
We strongly believe in the wisdom of treatment aimed at maintaining health. Today's hectic pace of life makes it very easy to become run down and depleted. We encourage patients to keep their health at an optimum level and to maintain the priceless blessing of good health.