Any kind of TCM treatment is determined by a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the condition. Besides the individual's physical state, a physician also takes into account the geographic location, sex, age, lifestyle patterns and past medical and family histories. As a result, the therapeutic methods are comprehensive and are customized to an individual's condition.
Chinese physicians never apply an exclusive remedy or therapy from beginning to end when treating a person; because, they recognize the body continually changes and may require different forms of treatment in the course of a disease or illness. They collect and interpret an individual's symptoms/ signs by special examination techniques, and then identify the stage (termed as disharmony pattern or syndrome) during the course of disease. The disharmony pattern can be used to explain the location and severity of the pathological changes, which form the basis of clinical treatment.
Different therapeutic approaches such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, lifestyle counseling, massage and qi-gong may be used singly or in combination. Among them, each physician has his own particular therapeutic modalities that work best; herbal preparations and food therapies are the most common approaches. The Chinese have applied and refined these techniques for thousands of years with consistent and outstanding results. However, it is important to note that it is impossible for most people to lose weight and keep it off without eating less and exercising more. Both Western medicine and TCM agree on this point; however, TCM, by its holistic focus on the body and its systems, provides a key to long-term healthy weight maintenance.