Western medicine, while peerless at dealing with acute, life threatening problems, primarily deals with the disease end of the spectrum (only about 1% of all health complaints). If you have a chronic problem, or something that is outside of Western medicineʼs ability to diagnose you typically have two options, medication or surgery. Additionally, the medication or surgery may or may not help (and can sometimes make things worse). Itʼs almost as if Western medicine is saying “come back when you have a really serious problem.” This disease-oriented, symptomatic approach is akin to seeing the oil light come on in your car and putting a piece of tape over the light. You can no longer see the light, but the problem is still there and if you continue to drive your car, friction will build up, until the engine seizes. At Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, we take a different approach.
By working from the health end of the spectrum, AOM uses various methods to get to the root of the problem instead of addressing symptoms. Upon experiencing an AOM evaluation and treatment, many react with disbelief with how accurately aspects of a persons life and health can be revealed. It quite honestly seems like some type of voodoo. AOM’s methods of diagnosis are numerous, varied and have been developed over thousands and thousands of years. In the hands of a talented and experienced practitioner, AOM’s diagnostic tools give the practitioner the ability to detect disharmonies at the health end of the spectrum. This enables him or her to detect pathologies before they manifest in noticeable signs and symptoms. This is one of the most amazing aspects of this system of medicine and makes it unrivaled as a preventative medicine. These tools also enable the practitioner to look at pathologies at the disease end of the spectrum and trace them back to their root and start treating the cause of the problem instead of the symptom. After all, if all you have alleviated is the symptom, the cause still remains and the symptom will always come back.
Using our car analogy, when your oil light comes on, like a responsible car owner you would add oil so that you do not damage your car, after all a new car is expensive. Most would then take their car to a qualified mechanic to find out why their oil was low. The mechanic would then use his or her diagnostic equipment (possibly some electronic equipment, most likely a visual inspection and probably some poking around with his or her hands) to find and then repair the leak. Continually adding oil to your car would be like treating a symptom without addressing the root cause. The problem with this is that whatever is causing your oil level to decrease is likely to get worse, to the point that you could be driving down the road and suddenly lose all of your engine oil and catastrophically and irreparably damage your car.
Returning one last time to our car analogy, most people take their cars in to a mechanic at certain intervals, 3,000 miles, prior to winter or summer or at other regular intervals for preventive maintenance. This helps maintain the proper functioning of the vehicle and prolongs its life. As a preventive medicine, AOM works in much the same way. Regular visits, such as on a monthly basis or when the seasons change, even when there are no obvious signs or symptoms help patients maintain their health and prevent disease manifestation.