THE CHINESE MED1CAL TREATMENT OF HEADACHES
F undamental to Chinese medicine is treatment based f on what is called ‘p^m discriminationWestern medicine bases its treatment on a disease diagnosis. Traditional Chinese medicine does take the patient’s disease diagnosis into account, but the choice of treatment is not
based on the disease so much as it is on the patient’s ‘pattern’. This aspect of Chinese medicine makes it holistic, safe and effective.
In order to explain the difference between a disease and a pattern, let us take the symptom of a headache as an example. All headaches by definition must involve some pain in the head. In modern Western medicine and other medical systems prescribe primarily on the basis of a disease diagnosis, there is likely to be some sort of specific headache medication given. Headache sufferers can, different – man or woman, young or old. Overweight or thin, for example. The actual symptoms of the headache can also vary- the£ain may be on the left or on the right side, it may or sharp but intermittent, etc.
One sufferer could also have the following symptoms: indigestion, a tendency to loose stools, cold feet, red eyes, a dry mouth and desire for cold drinks, whilst another sufferer might have a wet, weeping, crusty skin rash with red borders, a tenderV to hay fever, ringing in their ears and dizziness a tendency to hay fever, ringing in their ears and dizziness when they stand up. Whilst according to both Chinese ‘dern Western medicine both people suffer from a headache, they also each suffer from a whole host other complaints and so may have very different types of up rom all these other signs and symptoms and further information. The pattern entire pattern of imbalance as well as addressing the major complaint, symptom medicine: ‘One disease, different treatment different diseases same treatment.’
This means that, in Chinese medicine, two patients with same named disease diagnosis may receive different treatments if their Chinese medical patterns are different, while two patients diagnosed with different named diseases may receive the same treatment if their Chinese medical pattern is the same. The result always is that each person is treated, individually.
Since every patient gets an individually tailored treatment to restore balance there are usually no unwanted side-effects. Side-effects come from forcing one part of the body to behave while causing an imbalance in another part. The treatment may have been appropriate to relieve part of the problem but it does not take into account the whole. This is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. The fact that Chinese medicine takes many aspects of a person into account and looks at the body as a single, unified whole means that a problem is treated without creating further Imbalances.