5 element acupuncture is a very holistic approach to body-mind health. It focuses on physiology, how things work, and not on diseases. The goal of treatment is to solve the deeper cause of a problem. That means that any kind of medicine, from painkillers to psychotherapy can be applied holistically when it is solving the root of a problem. In the last decades, we see more holistic western medicine, called functional medicine, and more symptomatic oriental medicine, like herbs to treat colds or skin problems. The holistic approach includes treating symptoms with medicines, as part of the healing process.
What is holistic. Dictionary definition:
- PHILOSOPHY: characterized by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
- MEDICINE: characterized by the treatment of the whole person, including mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.
The holistic approach to life: The global events of the last years have shown that problems are solved holistically and collectively. The pandemic as well as climate change challenge humanity as a whole. It is obvious that neither can be solved locally. We have at the same time a world crisis: economical, social, political. The internet keeps rapidly connecting world news, education, and communication. Humanity is more connected than ever before. There is collective immunity, collective trauma, the realization that we are collectively healing planet earth. That brings us to a place of radical responsibility, to stop believing what has caused us to destroy ourselves. Like it is said in the movie the 2 popes: If nobody is responsible, then everybody is responsible.
The holistic approach to symptoms
Although approaching symptoms holistically is a paradox, it is perfectly valuable. For example, if diet or environmental pollution is the cause of disease, you need to change your diet or your environment to solve the problem. That will work, much better than adding more chemical poisons to your body and leaving the root of the problem unchanged. Yet, there are much deeper causes to why a person does not have a choice in what they eat or where they live and work. They might not feel valued or appreciated. Or they might lack the strength to change. By addressing these deeper issues you don’t only solve problems. You also transform lives!
Increasing autonomy: My clients taught me that the more holistic my approach the less they need me. That is because they learn how to solve the root of a problem by changing their way of living, thinking, or feeling. Only they can change it. Noone can change people`s lives for them. The physician removes obstacles, lights up blind spots, and respects their timing. In the 90ties I interviewed 10 people that had survived cancer for more than 10 years. The 1 common factor is that they all had drastically changed their lives. They had to.