The art of patient centred care, not disease centred care.
When a doctor of Western medicine is asked to explain the human body they may describe it as an organism separated into many components with each component containing organs and other tissues. The body is often seen as a “machine” that can be taken apart and examined. If there is a problem all one has to do is look at the system and the problem within that system.
A naturopathic doctor who practices Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) considers the whole person. The physical, emotional and mental components are interconnected and interdependent with each part relying on the other for optimum function.
Chinese Medicine and Naturopathic Medicine
The blending of art and practice
When Dr. Lee sees a patient, he looks at them from both a naturopathic and a Chinese medical perspective. Both systems look at the whole person (physical and mental/emotional state) and both attempt to find the underlying root of the problem as opposed to finding out how to relieve the symptom.
In many cases, a TCM diagnosis will be incorporated into a naturopathic protocol and assessment. This means that a condition such as eczema (an inflammatory condition of the skin causing rashes, cracking, dry skin and itching) could be treated from two distinct perspectives.
Perspective One — Traditional Chinese Medicine: From a Chinese perspective, eczema may be the result of a build-up of heat within the body causing blood toxicity and leading to inflammation. If there is inadequate elimination of toxins, dampness may accumulate in the body. This inflammation moves towards the skin (the exterior organ of the body), causing the eczema along with intense itching. To treat the source of the problem, Dr. Lee may suggest a remedy and dietary changes to help clear dampness and heat from the body, which will reduce the itching and inflammation. He may also use acupuncture to help clear heat and calm the mind.
Perspective Two – Naturopathic Perspective: A naturopathic treatment may incorporate a detoxification protocols with supplements, botanicals or homeopathic remedies. It may also incorporate dietary changes where food sensitivities are removed. Counselling can also be used to find the source of stress.
Both perspectives work with the body at treating the cause of the symptoms at the root source and both perspectives can be used alone or together to create a truly synergistic protocol.