In general terms, Chinese medicine is best used early, after the onset of symptoms, rather than late in the illness and as a last resort, when all else has failed. The more functional the problem, the faster and more completely it can be reversed with the use of acupuncture and/or herbs, moxibustion and dietary therapeutics. In Chinese medicine, diseases are thought to move "from the exterior to the interior," and are most curable and reversible when caught on their way in, rather than waiting until they settle inside. For example, chest pains of various functional types are more curable with Chinese medicine than a chest pain originating from a well-established heart attack. And likewise, PMS, menstrual cramps and pelvic pain are easier to treat and resolve than uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts or ovarian cancer.
Yet, the importance of treating early symptoms early goes beyond the issue of effectiveness of treating exterior versus interior conditions. In fact, leaving early symptoms untreated just because "the exam is normal, the blood tests didnít show anything, and the CAT scan was negative," is a negligent sitín wait attitude, which allows otherwise functional and reversible problems to deepen and transform into irreversible and established diseases.
Therefore, it is important that treatment with Chinese medicine, or Chinese and Western medicine, start early rather than being satisfied with a "clean bill of health" in the face of persistent symptoms.
The following is a limited and rather summarized list of symptoms and conditions that should receive the attention from a well-trained physician, able to diagnose in both the Chinese and the Western medical systems:
ORTHOPEDIC AND RHEUMATOLOGICAL DISORDERS:
Neck pain, low back pain, tennis elbow, heel pain, foot pain (neuroma, arthritis, gout), post-traumatic joint pain, frozen shoulder, tendinitis and bursitis, acute and chronic sprains and strains, speeding the healing and recovery of fractures, preparation for surgery and post-operative pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, hip pain, various forms of arthritis, knee pain, muscle aches, fibromyalgia.
RESPIRATORY AND EAR, NOSE AND THROAT DISORDERS:
Asthma, acute and chronic cough, bronchitis, laryngitis, improvement of "lung performance," sinusitis, sore throat, ear pain and infections, tinnitus, vertigo and dizziness, TMJ, common cold, flu.
ALLERGY AND SKIN DISORDERS:
Itchy and dry eyes, recurrent fever blisters (herpes simplex), dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, urticaria, shingles (herpes zoster), post-excisional healing, and a variety of rashes and allergic reactions, many of which are listed under ear, nose and throat disorders.
Indigestion, hyperacidity, gastritis, reflux esophagitis, nausea, vomiting, flatulence, constipation, chronic loose stools, acute diarrhea, excessive or insufficient appetite, weight problems (too heavy, too thin), irritable bowel syndrome, mouth ulcers, chronic abdominal pain, cramps and distention, toothaches, hemorrhoids.
Migraine headaches and all other headaches with the exception of organic causes (tumors, vascular infection), post-herpetic pain, trigeminal neuralgia, Bellís palsy, peripheral neuropathy, muscle spasms, tics and tremors, post-polio syndrome or post-stroke disabilities, weakness and disability, phantom pain, reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), Parkinsonís disease.
Anxiety, panic states, drug addiction (from cigarettes and alcohol, to crack and heroin), depressive disorders, poor concentration, memory loss and other intellectual disturbances, writerís cramp, insomnia, hyperactivity, mood alterations, phobias.
CARDIOVASCULAR AND BLOOD DISORDERS:
Palpitations, functional chest pain, cardiac "neurosis," hypertension, low blood pressure, edema, intermittent claudication, venous stasis, certain bleeding disorders.
URINARY, GENITAL AND SEXUAL DISORDERS:
PMS, menstrual cramps, headaches and mood swings during menstrual periods, irregular periods, excessive or scanty menstrual bleeding, impotence, frigidity, premature ejaculation, low sperm count, excessive sexual drive, infertility, urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis, urinary incontinence and urinary retention, pain with intercourse, vestibulitis, recurrent herpes genitalis, nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, pain during labor and delivery, reduced time of labor, reversal of abnormal fetal presentation (breech), menopausal symptoms.
OTHER GENERAL DISORDERS:
Excessive dryness or sweating, bad breath, "catches colds easily," fatigue, persistent hiccups, post-operative pain, high risk patients who are not candidates for conventional anesthesia, post-operative ileus, chronic fatigue syndrome, slow healing, "Just not feeling well."
Christina Stemmler, MD 2001
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