Why do we become ill?

In classical oriental medicine, human beings are seen as an integral part of a living and evolving universe, each affecting the other.


All that our body takes in from the outer universe (food, air, medication, and all stimuli arousing our five senses) has a direct affect on our inner universe – the human body. Whilst our social, cultural, historical and familial conditionioning formulates our beliefs about ourselves and others, and colours our view of the world – our outer environment.

This highlights two important points:

  1. Our environment is crucial to our health. When we are in a toxic environment (whether physically or emotionally), our cells will go into stress mode, make us vulnerable to disease and won’t be available for growth and healing.

2. Our thoughts, emotions and physical being are all interlinked. The beliefs and emotions we hold on to are just as important to our health as the food we eat, the air we breathe and the exercise we do.

Pain, illness and disease are messengers from the body telling us that something is wrong – our thinking is out of harmony with what is beneficial to our being. Illness is telling us that we have reached our physical and psychological limits – that we are decieving ourselves! It’s telling us to observe our belief system – observe our thoughts – observe our mind. Illness can be seen as a wake-up call whose purpose is to bring back the equilibrium and harmony in our being. For healing to occur, we must change ourselves. It requires us to see the collective conditioning of the human mind for what it is and to let go of beliefs and thoughts which undermine our health.

“Ultimately the body will rebel. Even if it can be temporarily pacified with the help of drugs, cigarettes, or medicine, it usually has the last word because it is quicker to see through self-deception than the mind…”
Alice Miller

Yin and Yang is one of the most fundamental concepts in Oriental medicine and is the foundation of diagnosis and treatment. The earliest reference to Yin and Yang were in the I Ching (Book of Changes) in approximately in 700 BC. In this work, all universal phenomena are said to eminate from the principals of Yin/Yang – two opposing yet compementary energetic states of a continuum, constantly transforming from one into the other. Manifestations of illness and disease can be interpreted via Yin/Yang theory. When Yin and Yang are in dynamic balance and relating harmoniously, there are no symptoms to observe. When Yin and Yang are out of balance, they become separated and this separation manifests eventually as illness of the body, mind and spirit. The treatment principle of acupuncture is to influence the flow of Ki at appropriate acu-points to promote and correct the circulation of Ki, Blood and Fluids to restore the harmonious balance of Yin and Yang.

“Frequently physical illnesses are the body’s response to permanent disregard of its vital functions. One of our most vital functions is an ability to listen to the true story of our own lives.”
Alice Miller

June 17, 2018