The Personalized Approach of Chinese medicine

Author: Dr. Maryam Mahanian, DTCM, RAc

The Personalized Approach of Chinese medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) stands out for its personalized approach to healthcare and embraces individuality. It rejects the notion of a one-size-fits-all approach and standardized treatments. 

Unlike Western medicine, which often focuses on treating specific symptoms or diseases, TCM takes a holistic approach. TCM practitioners take into account a person’s unique constitution, medical history, emotions, patterns of disharmony, specific needs of each person, and overall well-being. It’s treatments are highly personalized and tailored to the individual. 

Treatment plans may include a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary recommendations, and lifestyle adjustments. Again, these treatments are all highly customized. This means that two different people with infertility will most likely have completely different patterns of disharmony that are causing their infertility; therefore they will have completely different acupuncture protocols and herbal prescriptions. Even their diet and lifestyle recommendations will differ. 

Here are some other key reasons why TCM is considered customized medicine:

  1. Holistic Approach: TCM views the body, mind, and spirit as interconnected and seeks to address the root causes of imbalance or disease. It considers a person as a whole, taking into account their physical, emotional, and environmental factors.
  2. Pattern-Based Diagnosis: TCM diagnoses are based on identifying patterns of disharmony rather than solely focusing on isolated symptoms. Practitioners assess a wide range of factors such as pulse, tongue appearance, physical signs, and symptoms to understand the underlying imbalances unique to each individual.
  3. Constitutional Differences: TCM recognizes that individuals have different constitutions, which influence their vulnerability to certain imbalances or diseases. For example, one person may have a tendency towards Qi deficiency, while another may have a Yin deficiency. TCM treatment takes these constitutional differences into account.
  4. Adjustments Over Time: TCM treatment plans are dynamic and may be adjusted over time based on the individual’s progress and changing patterns. As the body and symptoms change, the treatment approach can be modified to ensure ongoing effectiveness and support the body’s natural healing processes.
  5. Prevention and Wellness: TCM places great emphasis on preventive care and maintaining overall wellness. Practitioners work with individuals to optimize their health, identify potential imbalances or weaknesses, and address them proactively before they manifest as more severe conditions.

What is a Pattern of Disharmony?

TCM offers a profound understanding of the body’s intricate energy systems and how imbalances lead to disharmony and disease. 

In TCM, a pattern of disharmony refers to an imbalance or disruption in the body’s energetic system. It is a concept used to understand the underlying causes of symptoms and to guide treatment.

In TCM, the body is seen as a complex network of interconnected pathways (called meridians) through which vital energy, called Qi, flows. When the flow of Qi is smooth and balanced, the body is considered healthy. However, various factors such as lifestyle, emotions, diet, environment, and external pathogens can disrupt this balance and lead to patterns of disharmony.

Patterns of disharmony are identified through a comprehensive assessment of a person’s signs, symptoms, and overall constitution. 

Each pattern of disharmony is characterized by a unique combination of symptoms and signs. For example, some common patterns of disharmony in TCM include:

  1. Yin Deficiency: This pattern is associated with a deficiency of Yin energy, which represents the nourishing and cooling aspects of the body. Symptoms may include hot flashes, night sweats, dryness, insomnia, and irritability.
  2. Qi Stagnation: This pattern is characterized by a stagnation or blockage of Qi energy flow in the body. Symptoms may include pain, distention, emotional stress, irritability, and a tendency to feel “stuck” or frustrated.
  3. Blood Stagnation: Blood stagnation occurs when the flow of blood becomes sluggish or obstructed. Symptoms may include sharp or fixed pain, dark or clotted menstrual blood, purple discoloration, and cold limbs.
  4. Dampness: Dampness is characterized by an excessive accumulation of heavy fluids in the body. Symptoms may include heaviness, bloating, fatigue, weight gain, a feeling of heaviness, and foggy head.
  5. Heat: Heat patterns involve excessive heat accumulation in the body, which can manifest as symptoms such as fever, thirst, red face, restlessness, and irritability.

While Western medicine excels in acute care and advanced technologies, TCM’s strengths lie in its holistic nature, individualized approach, and focus on promoting overall well-being. By combining the strengths of both systems, a more comprehensive and integrative approach to healthcare can be achieved.

Understanding TCM patterns of disharmony allows individuals to embark on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment, unlocking the secrets to achieving optimal health and well-being. To help you achieve this goal, in addition to my in-person health consultations, I have created many resources for you, including online assessments and online courses. 

Online Personalized Health Assessments

I have put together online health assessments where you will gain insight into your personal pattern of disharmony and receive customized diet and lifestyle recommendations that suits your pattern. Here are the online assessments I offer:

  • Female Fertility Online Assessment: Do you want to get pregnant? Find out how healthy and in balance your body is, what your fertility pattern of disharmony is, and get tips to get you started on your path to motherhood. 
  • Male Fertility Online Assessment: Do you want to improve your sperm health and optimize your fertility? Get customized recommendations based on your male fertility type. 
  • Premenstrual Acne Online Assessment: Do you struggle with acne breakouts prior to getting your menstrual period every month? Take this assessment to get customized recommendations for your acne type to clear your skin and balance your hormones. 
  • Menstrual Health Online Assessment: How healthy is your menstrual cycles and what is your menstrual cycle telling you about your overall health and wellbeing? Find out your menstrual type and receive recommendations for a healthier period and balanced hormones. 
  • Assessment of Immune Health (free): This is a complimentary assessment to help you determine the health of your immune system, your individual immune type and customized recommendations for boosting your immune system. 
  • Self-Paced Online Courses
  • I also have online self-directed courses available in the areas of IVF Support, Male Fertility, and Immune Health that take a personalized approach. You can find out more about these online courses here

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Not from the area? No problem, I can support you remotely from anywhere you are in the world.  All you need is either a computer, tablet or smartphone, and an internet connection (for videoconferencing). Read more below about my Online Services (Click here).

Also check out my Self-Treatment Online Courses for women and men offering simple ways to improve your health, with a special focus on fertility, pregnancy, and women’s health conditions and to look and feel your best. My online self-treatment programs help you and your partner right out of the comfort of your home. Check back regularly as I continue to add new courses.

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