Whole is Greater Than Sum of Its Parts

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△ image©AdobeStock_MarekPhotoDesign.com, davidlee.

By David Lee, L.Ac.

The concept of ‘Whole is Greater Than Sum of Its Parts’ is intrinsic to Asian medicine. Just by improving the whole, its benefit cascades downward to the physiological and physical levels. In this way, the body is encouraged to heal from diseases. Body type acupuncture, food, and herbs to meet the criteria. Sasang four constitutional medicine is safe and effective way to create positive side effects. Imbalances of dry, damp, cold, and hot are used in constitutional medicine to treat the whole.

△ image©davidlee,  adopted from www.chehyung.com

In contrast, physical medicine is a bottom-up approach. Surgery and molecular medicine are disease focused, not human focused. It does not directly enhance life. Physical medicine and Asian medicine are fundamentally incompatible. The difference in both is that one takes over the function of the body and the other empowers it. Constitutional medicine treats at the level of whole, which is created from synergistic interaction of molecules. The whole is a new entity that arises from parts. Therefore, an active ingredient is not found at the molecular level.

“Use complex nature to treat a complex human being.” Natural medicine is designed to enhance life. It works with, not instead of, the mind-body to establish homeostasis. The outcome is reversal of internal and external diseases such as hypothyroidism, irritable bowel syndrome, drug-addicted brain, and chronic pain. It can even prevent cytokine storm, which is an over-response by the immune system to attack a virus but consequently harms the body. Natural medicine’s strength is applying complex solution to the complex human being. Over a long period of time, nature found ways to balance complexities so that they coexist. There is still more to discover viable solutions. By using a pattern to treat a pattern, rather than cause-effect pathways, more can be accomplished. Acupuncture stimulates reactive points on the body so that the body is alerted to be more efficient in establishing homeostasis. There are no acupuncture points for a disease. Rather, there are acupuncture points for the nerves, organs, glands, and immune system to be more efficient.

“Phytonutrients are crucial in maintaining health and reversing diseases.” Holistic health applies same to foods and herbs. Foods are mild medicine, for good or ill. Herbs are stronger than foods because they contain more phytonutrients to help the body to fight off disease.  Since we consume foods daily, their effect will add up over time. Meeting three criteria of (1) organic, (2) whole-food-plant-based, and (3) body-type diet, we can achieve greater health, well-being, and longevity. When food is not enough, we use herbs for better outcome.

Protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins, and minerals are for survival. When we lack these, disease ensues. However, these are not enough to elevate the mind-body to an optimal level. Daily intake of phytonutrients is necessary in optimizing health and quality of living. Even diseases stubborn with molecular medicine can be easily reversed with phytonutrients. Asian herbs are a step forward to even a greater health. Using their phytonutrients, many internal diseases intractable with physical medicine are reversed.

Constitutional medicine is a natural medicine that is relevant for the health challenges of 2021. By empowering your mind and body to heal, it treats at the level that modern medicine cannot. Whole is greater than sum of its parts is comprehensive and preventative. Works with your patients constitution so that the treatment is customized, and the benefit is lasting.