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What is health, and how do we know when we’ve arrived?

Often when a new client comes into my clinic, they ask me ‘how long will it take for me to get better?’ The honest answer is, it depends. There are many variables that come into play when we are looking at treatment length: How long have you had symptoms? How often does your budget and schedule allow you to seek treatment? Will you remember to take your herbs? Are you continuing with the same lifestyle (activities\diet) that caused the symptoms to develop? How strong is your constitution?

I like to describe healing as an “upward spiral”, as in my experience healing is not often linear. Every day we wake up and make choices that ultimately lead us into sickness or into health. Some days we make better choices than others, and some circumstances are out of our control. Perhaps you have to work nightshifts, or you’re a student working multiple jobs, maybe you work in a very high stress fast-paced environment. It isn’t just proper nutrition and exercise that lead a person through the upward spiral to health, mental health along with internal/external stressors can also have a huge impact.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) looks at health through an interesting and all-encompassing lens. The journey to health can best be described as learning to obtain harmony with all 5 spirits: Shen, Hun, Po, Yi, Zhi. To further understand, we will look at each of these 5 spirits in detail.