It is often difficult to determine what caused a health condition. There are many contributing factors that interact with each other to create an imbalance in our bodies. Sometimes we can decrease or resolve signs and symptoms, but they may reappear and we are back to trying to treat them again. It is not always one simple cause that we can separate during treatment.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) divides the cause of disease into categories. Emotions can impact our health significantly, especially when they are prolonged. Different emotions correspond to particular organ systems. For example, anger relates to the liver organ/meridian system and can affect the eyes and indirectly cause digestive complaints. Grief, fear, excessive joy and worry are the emotions relating to the other primary organs in TCM. Having an imbalance in one system can contribute to an imbalance in other organ systems in the body.
External causes in our environment can also affect our health. The air temperature, level of humidity and air pressure can impact our health causing our bodies to be out of balance. Certain conditions, such as arthritis, are made worse by changes in temperature and increased dampness. Wind and cold can combine to attack specific meridians and lead to what is known as the common cold in Western medicine, but is known as Wind Cold invasion in TCM.
The last category encompasses many other causes, which can include fatigue, diet, trauma, overworking and viruses. It is usually not one factor that causes imbalance, but an interaction of one or more that leads to specific patterns of signs and symptoms. A treatment plan is established through a variety of diagnostic methods in TCM to assist in treating the root cause as well as the branch. Acupuncture, one treatment modality in TCM, is beneficial in helping the body regain and maintain health and balance.