As human beings, we have a lot in common. We all need the same basic things: food, shelter, and community. We all strive for common goals of peace, safety, and security. We all work towards greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

As much as we have in common, there are even more things that make each of us unique.

No two people are, have been, or ever will be completely alike.

Modern medicine is largely based on studying the effects of a single intervention on large groups of people with a certain disease. Give the green pill to 5,000 people with chronic headaches, and give a sugar pill to the other 5,000. How many people get better? If enough taking the green pill improve without a high incidence of life-threatening side-effects, we assume with relative confidence that the green pill will work for many others.

Until recently, this was enough for most scientists. There wasn’t a lot of inquiry into why many who took the green pill didn’t get better — or maybe got worse.

Those who took the sugar pill who got better were written off as having experienced the “placebo effect” — a scientific term for the spontaneous expression of the body’s innate healing response, triggered by belief.

We all take for granted that different types of plants naturally thrive in different soil and climate, different mixtures of sunlight, nutrients, and water. We would never plant a fern in a desert — or a cactus in a tropical rainforest — and expect either to do well on their own.

Chinese Medicine — which is, in my opinion, the most advanced system of holistic medicine on Earth — embodies a profound wisdom around individual blueprints for healing in humans.

For millennia, its tradition was built around the view that we are all Universes, completely unique and precious, with constitutional differences that must be accounted for in our choices of foods, activities, careers, and medicines.

The Chinese herbal tradition reflects this penetrating wisdom in how herbal medicines are compounded. Each formula contains several herbs, in very precise combinations, to address multiple layers of pathology.

A master herbalist chooses the herbs to be unique to each patient. There is never a cookie-cutter approach.

Chinese Medicine practitioners also recognize and honor individual differences in terms of metabolism and dietary needs. Each individual’s unique “Qi” is evaluated and foods are chosen based on what will support — and eliminated based on what will hinder — that person’s healing system. One person may be OK with milk, another may not. One person may thrive eating pork, another may have to avoid it.

Conventional medicine is just starting to accept that individuals have different nutritional needs. The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of nutrients is giving way to a more individualized approach. But, still, the approach is mired in controversy and requires extensive — and often expensive — laboratory testing.

I have found in my practice that the model developed by the sages of Chinese Medicine over countless centuries is stunningly accurate. Simply by observing, collecting history, and feeling pulses of my patients, I have been able to help reduce — and in a good number of cases completely eliminate — long-standing chronic illness ranging from migraines, to anxiety and depression, to autoimmune thyroiditis, to infertility and beyond.

Almost all of these people had tried other methods — such as drugs, surgery, chiropractic — with limited success (otherwise they would not have sought me out).

And, I am not claiming to be some kind of miracle healer here. In fact, I feel privileged to participate in the process with every one of my patients. I am in awe as I watch their body’s healing system do its miraculous work.

What I have learned to do is see each person as a completely unique individual — and every “disease” process as an expression of life trying to express itself.

Instead of seeing people who come to me as broken machines in need of repair, I see them as Divine Healers desiring self-expression.

Instead of trying to make a fern to grow in a desert by brute force, I follow the advice of the Chinese sages and countless other holistic masters the world over: Create the conditions in which that unique individual naturally thrives.

As a gardener chooses the location, soil, fertilizer, and time to plant, I guide my patients on their most effective stress management techniques, lifestyle choices, nutritional supplements, and herbal therapies. I look for every possible avenue that will allow them to thrive.

The recommendations are unique, the supplements chosen and dosed individually. The herbals are selected and compounded with each patient’s precise condition in mind. The acupuncture points chosen to awaken and guide the individual’s healing system.

And, then something amazing happens. The wilted fern suddenly fills with life. The struggling cactus becomes strong and healthy.

All because someone finally paid attention and gave proper respect to the needs and situation of each, and gave each one the tools needed for it to thrive.

I am and always will be eternally grateful for the medicine I practice. It isn’t high-tech or sexy. But its simple and profound power to transform lives is, in my opinion, unmatched.

That’s because it works with and facilitates the awakening of the highest of all high-tech — that amazing thing we call “Life”.

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