Symptoms are Not the Whole Story
Updated: Feb 18
Stop for a moment and think about your all-time favorite movie. As beautiful and charismatic as the actors may be, its the sizzle of a hot romance, excitement of the meticulously calibrated bank heist, the cat and mouse thrill of the chase that brings the film to life.
The synergy and dynamics of all the elements working together make it pop.
That’s all Chinese medicine cares about.
A reliable mechanic doesn’t disable the warning light on your car’s check engine indicator. They become curious about all the possible reasons why the engine light went on checking and rechecking the connections in the vehicle before deciding how to get you back on the road.
Why should healthcare work any differently? Symptoms beckon us through the door, but if we look at something like headaches, depression or back pain in isolation something’s being missed. That missing piece is likely the key to your long term health.
Recently the NYT published an article showing a link between successful treatment of insomnia and depression which makes sense since most of the 18 million Americans who are depressed also have trouble sleeping. Patients who received cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-1), slept better and experienced less depression. It was as effective as sleep medicines. CBT-I consists of a conversation between the patient and therapist to challenge assumptions and beliefs about the person’s ability to sleep, make guidelines to follow and track progress. That sounds like a good dose of common sense to me.