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Can acupuncture treat more than one symptom at a time?

Q:  I have overactive bladder syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome and eczema. Can all three be treated with acupuncture at the same time?

A:  The great strength of Chinese medicine is precisely that it takes into account all of the symptoms from which a patient might suffer and aims to interpret them within a diagnostic framework which can make sense of them, both in terms of their chronology, how they developed in relation to each other over time, and also their inter-relationships as patterns of disharmony which point to functional disturbances in the Organs as they are understood from a Chinese perspective.
 
The functional nature of Organs, much wider concept than that applied by western medicine, can mean that seemingly disparate symptoms can be traced back to the same part of the system which is not working well. In the west your symptoms will get you referrals to three different specialists or consultants. In the East the Chinese medicine practitioners were always generalists, aiming to understand the whole complex picture which was unique to every different patient. Ironically the specialist in ancient China was looked down on as someone who was limited and inferior!
 
When someone asks, 'can Chinese medicine treat x, y and z?', the best answer is that Chinese medicine treats the person in whom x, y and z manifest, and tries to make sense of the unique presentation. Obviously the modern patient wants to hear about x, y and z, and we always make sure that what research exists is put before people. Even though the treatments used in research are often sub-optimal, there are generally encouraging results, if short of being conclusive in most cases. However, the true value of Chinese medicine is the fact that each person will receive treatment appropriate to their specific patterns, and this means that x, y and z will always be taken into account together, and hopefully that treatment of the person will generate improvements across the board.    
 

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