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Chinese Medicine on the Causes of Disease

Traditional Chinese medicine analyzes pathological factors based on how symptoms and signs manifest clinically.  Disease-causing factors are triggered by external influences such as variation of weather, irregular food intake, stress, lack of physical activity, and traumatic injuries.  Internal (or emotional) factors can also cause disease.  There are seven main emotions: joy or excitement, anger, sadness, worry, grief, fear and fright.  Therefore, no two illnesses are ever the same because each person’s internal and external influences interact to create a disorder specific to the individual.  This perspective is different from Western medicine.  In most cases, Western medicine treats the body, mind and external factors separately and does not necessarily view them as interdependent parts.  For example, an Ophthalmologist treats only an eye problem.  A Chinese doctor will look at an eye problem and ask “how is your liver?” or “are you under an unusual amount of stress?”

Each organ system has a meridian, an emotion, and one of the senses is connected to it. For example, the kidneys connect to our sense of hearing. The kidney system also governs the aging process, so it follows that hearing declines with age. The sense of the liver is sight, so treating liver points can help with eye issues, especially redness, tearing, or dryness. Some of the connections that a Chinese medicine practitioner makes may seem far-fetched, but as you experience the effects of treatment, these connections begin to make sense on an experiential level.

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