In Part 2, you’ll learn how to practice Chinese holistic self-care in a variety of ways, including acupressure, herbal remedies, Qigong, and food therapies. You can use any of those separately with many beneficial results. All are synergistically integrated for you in the prescriptions found in Chapter 18. That integration will optimize your health and wellness, providing the most comprehensive self-care and yielding the very best results. It will give you more control over every aspect of your health and greatly reduce the need for visits to the doctor.
There may be times when seeking professional medical help is the wisest course, as when a mild to moderate health challenge lingers for a long time despite your best self-care efforts or when facing a more serious medical condition. In those cases, remember the words of Canadian physician Sir William Osler, who famously stated in the 1800s, “A physician who treats himself has a fool for a patient.” 18
You may still opt for an integrated holistic approach, as a Chinese physician will often be of as much or greater help than a doctor of Western medicine. Most will advise you to seek Western medical intervention if they believe that would be of greatest benefit for your individual circumstances.
For readers less familiar with practical Chinese medicine, Chapter 10 and Chapter 11 provide insight to what you can expect, so you’ll be a better informed patient and can interact effectively with your physician. A Chinese physician will be able to guide you in most advantageously incorporating practices from this book to speed your recovery or improve your baseline of good health. You can still use everything here when seeing a Western physician, as long as you let them know what you are doing for self-care. Acupressure and Qigong are always safe, but herbs and some foods may interact with certain prescription medications.
18. William Osler, Sir William Osler: Aphorisms from His Bedside Teachings and Writings (New York: Henry Schuman, Inc., 1950).