When you adopt Chinese medicine as a treatment regimen for a particular condition, you are at the same time improving general health, and preventing future health problems. The key difference comes from Chinese medicine treating patterns of illness, not just the symptoms or the condition. You can think of the patterns as an extension of the underlying contributing factors, or root cause, of your current illness.
For example, different patient suffering from insomnia will get diagnosed with different patterns of disharmony in a Chinese medicine clinic. In general insomnia is classified as a ShenDisturbance (Heart Spirit which is wandering or unsettled) syndrome. But say you are complaining of having insomnia for the past 6 months, and during the initial consultation we found that you have been bottling up anger, drinking nightly attempting to relieve pressure, and that you have been tossing and turning, waking up at 3am unable to fall back asleep. A flushed complexion, red tongue, fast and strong pulse will confirm the diagnosis of Liver Fire harassing the Heart Spirit as your pattern of illness. Instead of prescribing you with sleeping tablets, Chinese medicine will drain Liver Fire, calm the spirit, and promote sleep.
Sometime during the course of your treatment, you may notice that you no longer suffer from heart burn, and that constipation has gone away. Liver Fire can also affect the Stomach and Intestines, causing symptoms related to upward rising Qi and dryness. By treating the Liver Fire pattern, we have also restored the Qi movement and preserved the moistening Yin substance in the digestion system.
At the same time, treating the Liver Fire pattern which is the cause of your sleeping problem today, can actually help preventing the development of other health problems arising from the extension of your Liver disharmony. Left untreated, Liver Fire can lead to serious mental health condition such as anxiety and panic attacks. Or say you are a female in late thirties, then early menopause or severe hot flushes may happen, due to Kidney Yin being damaged by untreated Liver Fire.