Traditional Chinese Medicine has a lot to offer in ways of health promotion. Low energy or fatigue is a very common complaint a person can have when seeing a Chinese medicine practitioner. They also might complain that they “just don’t feel well”. Many people we treat have a complaint of low energy they would like help with even if it’s not the primary reason for them coming to the clinic. The short answer is that we can treat energy issues very effectively. The long answer is that in practice it takes time to treat energy complaints effectively. People know that energy can be affected by several different lifestyle factors. Knowing that lifestyle factors may be part of the current energy deficit can make the treatment process a bigger challenge than expected. The flip side is that some people do not know that their lifestyle choices may be a factor in their energy deficit. In order for us to understand how we can treat these problems effectively and avoid having a “revolving door” we can look at the following principles listed below.
The best option for treating energy concerns and health promotion is through prevention. Traditional Chinese Medicine has a very effective approach for this. It doesn’t matter if you have a health complaint or specific diagnosis that you have been unable to get help for. It also does not matter if you do not have these problems. Treating health problems and health promotion through prevention is a foundational concept in TCM. The reason for this is within the framework of a TCM assessment. Through a TCM assessment we can see patterns that arise within a patients complaint. The patterns are then tracked to see what possible outcomes can occur and to also develop a treatment plan. Patterns are always ongoing within the human body. Some are in harmony while others are not. The closer a person is to being healthy, the smaller the pattern for health problems that are present but go unnoticed. This concept is what makes TCM very practical in a prevention model. Although it might sound like this treatment is very weak it is in reality a very effective approach to improving your health.
Yin and Yang are present in all things according to TCM theory. Hormone function is very reflective of Yin and Yang aspects in the human body. The reason this is mentioned is because this is how TCM has developed a version of treatment that is similar to hormone replacement therapy or anti aging/longevity. TCM does not see decline in hormone function with aging. It sees a decline in the bodies ability to generate Yin and Yang as we age. All ailments and health problems that are a part of aging are treated with this theory. The list is very broad so the best way to sum it up is as follows. Any complaint that a person has involving a decrease in performance in any aspect of their life that they feel is related to “getting older” would more than likely fit this concept. The other important thing to know with Yin and Yang treatments is that there is a seasonal aspect to the treatment. A person might initially start with a treatment to build Yin and Yang, known as supporting and maintaining hormone function which is excellent, but may not be enough depending on circumstances. Some patients may need more treatment to get the desired result. Other patients can do just fine after a shorter course of treatment and carry on. All patients however that are dealing with problems relating to hormones are encouraged to do a yearly maintenance phase. TCM theory believes that an aging person should follow a herbal prescription over the course of the winter months to boost and balance Yin and Yang functions. It can’t be stressed enough how important this treatment is for promoting healthy aging.
Another area that we can look at for health promotion is recovery from acute injury or illness. Seasonal complaints such as cold/flu or allergies and acute injury are a few examples. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a great option to use for treatment. Not just for recovery from acute complaints but also during them. A flu or cold for example is something that we can treat regardless of what phase the person is in.