When you have pain or other health problems, or you don’t have all the energy you used to, the first thing you want to do is get rid of the symptoms.
And that’s a good thing… but it’s not the only thing you want to think about. Here’s why:
In Chinese Medicine, there is a concept called “Root & Branch” referring to the cause (root) of an illness and the symptoms (branch) of it. Root & Branch is an excellent metaphor describing what’s going on when we experience any sort of illness.
Here’s how it works. The most obvious part of any health issue are the symptoms that get our attention. Whether it’s pain, fatigue, digestive problems, or any other departure from being happy and healthy, we know it when we don’t feel well.
But underneath all of it the obvious, attention-getting symptoms are the real causes. These ‘roots’ are mostly invisible to us, but they are the real reasons for the symptoms we experience.
If you address health issues at this deeper level, then nothing remains to keep the symptoms around. The result is long-term healing.
An Example of “Root & Branch” in Healing
Let’s take the example of a specific health issue, fatigue. Here are some things people do to get rid of this symptom. They might:
- Drink coffee or ‘energy’ drinks
- Eat more sugar
- Take sleeping pills (thinking more rest will help)
Each of these approaches has the possibility of helping reduce the immediate symptoms of fatigue, at least for a little while. But the problem is none of them get down to the underlying issues creating fatigue in the first place.
What might those underlying issues be? Since each person is different, it pays to uncover the situation in each specific case, but here are a few of the possibilities:
- Inefficient digestion meaning the body lacks sufficient nutrients for energy production.
- Eating foods not ideal for specific metabolic needs, a factor that is different for each person.
- Stage 2 or Stage 3 adrenal fatigue resulting from chronic stress, which “steals” energy from other body requirements of good health.
- Inability to efficiently detoxify the body from metabolic waste products, causing sluggishness
- Exposure to environmental toxins creating a toxic overload.
Once uncovering the deeper issues and correcting them, there is no need for artificial ‘energy’ foods and drinks, nor for drugs to facilitate sleep. After the ‘root’ is corrected, the ‘branch’ will be healthy and strong.
How Do You Uncover These Deeper Issues?
Because the underlying problems leading to symptoms aren’t always clear at first, it’s a good idea to understand the history leading up to whatever health problem someone experiences.
In addition, the factors that influence all of our symptoms have a natural order of priority. This means some are much more important than others. In virtually every case, the first and most important influence is food.
Think of it this way: if you put the wrong ‘fuel’ (food) in your car (body) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ diesel fuel in a gasoline car, for example Ã¢â‚¬â€œ how well will it run? For anyone not mechanically inclined, the answer is, “not well.” Eventually it will stop running altogether.
And as long as diesel fuel goes into the gasoline tank, literally nothing else you do will make the car run correctly. No amount of ‘fuel additives’ (supplements, herbs, drugs) or ‘tune ups’ (acupuncture, massages, chiropractic) or even replacing or removing parts (surgery) will correct the problem more than temporarily. Only when the right fuel goes in the tank is it possible for real healing to occur.
That doesn’t mean that all of these other approaches aren’t good. In fact, once you get the right fuel in the tank, all of the other ways to address the problem will be more effective. With the right fuel mix at the start, you actually have a shot at correcting the problem permanently.
Hyperhealth Pro Health Database, In-Tele-Health, Hansville, WA, 2008.
Biohealth Diagnostics Resource Library, Biohealth Diagnostics, San Diego, CA.
The Healthexcel.com, online information library of Metabolic TypingÃ‚Â®.