Both Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Western medicine are complex systems for addressing medical problems. The goal of both systems is to make the patient well. However, for the patient, the means to achieving the goal is very different. One way of viewing the difference is to look at the approach in determining treatment.
“Take two aspirin and call me in the morning” is practically a punch line but underscores the approach frequently taken by Western medicine practitioners. If someone has a headache, the response is to “take an aspirin”. With TCM, if someone complains of a headache, the next step is to determine what is causing the headache. There can be a dozen or more reasons for headache, and each has a different treatment protocol.
Chinese dietary therapy is based on the basic principle of eating a more balance diet according to one's own constitution and is a complex practice that identifies and treats the underlying patterns of imbalance. The key to creating an optimal diet is to understand that there is no single best diet for everyone. Our rates of metabolism are different, the climates that we live in vary, and our physical activity levels differ. Furthermore, we all have different health patterns. While some individuals are rarely ill, others are frequently sick. Also, areas of the body that are affected by the same pathogen in some people may differ in others.
The Chinese Medicine diet is based on energetic principles to encourage balance, clean burning digestion, and a well-functioning body, free of diseases and full of energy. In Chinese Medicine training, we learn how to restore balance in your body when it has become imbalanced and is now manifesting pain or disease. Chinese Medicine can use needles or herbs to achieve this balance, but also includes a wide range of tools such as qi gong, tai chi, and dietary therapy. While these methods can heal disease by fixing imbalances, the main key is preventing your body to become imbalanced to begin with.