Modern medicine started essentially as a therapeutic approach to illness. You were feeling ill so you approached a doctor who examined you did some tests, found a disease and treated it. If he did not find a disease, you usually ended up with no treatment and no further advice except the doctor telling you: “There is nothing wrong with you”
Later there was introduction of psychiatry in the West by Freud. However this was strictly a therapeutic approach to mental illness.
It was recognised a long time ago in Egypt, China and India that preventative medicine is the true path of health. It is comforting to note that preventive medicine has had a big surge lately both in the minds of the public and in the hands of the practicing physician. This is the approach to staying healthy and preventing illness. We have also moved away from the obvious causes of illnesses of the past (infectious diseases etc) to disease related to poor diet and life style related diseases, which can be prevented by long term changes in life style.
There is considerable amount of literature and evidence of the effectiveness of Acupuncture, a therapeutic tool with its origin in China for CURING illnesses. However there is very little information available to suggest that use of acupuncture can have a beneficial general effect of health in an otherwise healthy individual. In starting this discussion, it is my intention to bring out such information as is available on the preventive aspects of the use of acupuncture.
One of the objectives of acupuncture is Corrective Care is to strengthen the organ systems of the body in a way that they are working harmoniously. The aim is to restore the smooth flow of blood and in Chinese way of stating it, of Qi through the body. Another aim is Maintenance Care i.e. the foal is of maintaining health and wellness by sustaining a unified, healthy state.
One article I was reading stated, “Imbalance in the distribution of Qi can bring on ill health”. This leads to poor blood circulation, with a resultant, loss of food to the cells and loss of water, oxygen, etc., and inadequate cellular detoxification of wastes and carbon dioxide. This eventually leads to cellular illness, mutation, and death. Acupuncture is stated to restore the flow of Qi and blood to these areas of degeneration and cellular death, thus bringing them back to life. Selected acupuncture sites are stimulated to balance the Qi with resulting return of function and restoration of health.
Another aspect of lack of health under the Chinese system is Organ imbalance. It refers to the condition where the organs of your body are either working too hard, or not working hard enough. In either case there is imbalance and ill health. It is like saying that if one worker in an office or factory does not work well the others all so suffer by either having to take up the slack or by working less because everything is slowed down. Apparently the body slows down in the same way as the assembly line would slow down from one inefficient worker. Apparently Acupuncture restores balance to the organ systems of the body and allows the body to function optimally.
I am hoping for further discussion and input in the preventive aspect of the use of Acupuncture.