What Kind Of Tree Are You?

Elm Tree by kevinkpc - (Catching Up)
Elm Tree, a photo by kevinkpc – (Catching Up) on Flickr.

When patients are trying to figure out traditional Chinese medicine’s angle on human health I often end up explaining by using an analogy of a person being a tree.

You can be whatever kind of tree you want to be. Your chief concern(s) are like a limb (or limbs if you have more than one issue). If we are considering only the limb in question, it looks like the limb is an independent thing. Likewise, multiple limbs look independent of each other. Everyone knows however, that the limb isn’t the whole tree. In fact, the limb doesn’t exist without the rest of the tree. All limbs originate from the same trunk and root system. An acupuncturist is always considering the limb(s) but also the entire tree. When we are formulating a treatment plan we can treat just the limb(s) in question, just the roots of the issue or a combination of both. When treating the “root’ causes of an issue, often not only does the limb of concern improve but the entire tree begins to thrive.

What kind of tree are you?

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