Medicine, good medicine, helps us develop health and well-being physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Usually, people seek health-care when faced with pain or some other form of dis-ease. Many such symptoms, particularly acute and physical ones, can often be effectively treated on the symptom or syndrome level with material interventions. Yet often, particularly in chronic, recurrent or nonphysical conditions, the need arises for heightened understanding of the cause and of how to more strongly call upon intrinsic sources of health and harmony.
Modern western medicine, material medicine, (in which I have strong academic and clinical training) has a great and growing capacity to intervene on the physical level to contribute to health. For many in our culture, this is the definition of what medicine is. Yet conventional material medicine comes hand-in-hand with the world-view that everything is founded on the physical, and the physical alone…that the human being with disease is best approached as a machine that is broken. Material medicine has no guiding sense of what optimal health is for a person–just many measures of what is abnormal and what is normal. In the classical material view, there is really no room for spirit, for a consciousness which transcends the body, nothing that affords the possibility of free will.
Ancient oriental medicine, on the other hand, is founded on energy and consciousness. The physical body is regarded as less fundamental than the energetic processes which undergird and overlight it. There is room in the view for the material aspects of medicine, as well as for the spiritual and energetic nature of the human being. I find that this more spacious view facilitates working with nature in the process of healing.
The mainstay of my healing practice is Classical Five Element Acupuncture. This is an old form of medicine focused on constitutional energetic treatment rather than on treating symptoms. I supplement it with other forms of energy medicine, including Qigong and with some elements of Anthroposophic Medicine.
In my constitutional energetic work, the primary goal is establishing and strengthening the internal equilibrium. I find that, in our present day and culture, the most common forces that move a person back out of equilibrium are the recurrent conversations they have with themselves and/or the people close to them. Because of this, I have come, over the years, to rely more and more on adjunctive counseling, relying on Focusing and Nonviolent Communication, in support of the healing process.