The practice of Chinese Medicine and acupuncture in particular, is how licensed acupuncturists see and interpret our patients' imbalances or symptoms, and their relationship to it. We are interested in learning about their relationships to their family and family history, their favorite foods, and what constitutes stress. Whether it is an ongoing issue or a new symptom, the person sitting in front of us has a relationship to it, and in that lies the key to healing. Simply put, by helping our patients shift their relationship to the symptom/issue, they heal themselves. They come into a more balanced understanding, and harmony unfolds naturally. Symptoms are relaxed and alleviated.
One of the starting points that practitioners use for diagnosis is a theory called "the 8 principles." The eight principles are yin and yang, interior and exterior, empty and full (or excess and deficiency), and hot and cold. By determining the extremes that are may be happening in a person's body, ie they are frequently warm/ hot, cold, or they catch colds easily. They are restless and suffer from insomnia or vivid dreams, or they are tired (or hungry) all the time even when they get plenty of sleep (food) ; we begin to get a picture of how this person's biology is unique. We need to use other diagnostic tools such a tongue and pulse analysis to complete our assessments, but we may begin by observing general lifestyle disharmonies.
There is no standard or ideal when it comes to health and relationships. We are all endowed with blessings as well as inevitable challenges and even bad fortune, not to mention the achievements and losses we have acquired along our path. These are the elements and experiences that make us unique and special, not our problems or our symptoms per se. Unlocking the door to satisfying relationships is another aspect of awareness that grows when we acheive harmony in our lives.