Therapeutic Relationship

The ultimate aim of Chinese medicine is to treat the individual and the cause(s) of disease by distinguishing the individual from his or her illness. It seeks to understand and treat with respect for each patient as a cornerstone of therapy. This therapeutic relationship has myriad forms and like all of Chinese medicine is tailored to each person uniquely.

What distinguishes this from other systems of medicine is the relationship that is created and fostered between patient and practitioner which serves as the foundation for the initiation of the healing process. This is not a one-way street and requires cooperation by both parties.

First, the physician counsels the patient regarding the relationship between particular behavioral patterns (including diet, exercise, sex, etc.) and the illness in question, and then treatment assists and supports the body’s own healing forces. A physician’s job is to return physiology to normal. His effectiveness depends entirely on the accuracy of the diagnosis, on the wisdom of the counseling, on the patient’s willingness to change, and on the correct choice of treatment modalities for the rebalancing of the body’s physiology.

-Dr. Leon Hammer

Nobody denies that assuming responsibility for oneself is the ultimate in growth and development. The physician must identify the energy leaks, and the patient must seal them by changing his lifestyle. It is, however, only one step and cannot be taken until the organism and person are strong enough. This strengthening is a collaborative process and must often begin with help from an outside source. Chinese medicine provides this outside source in many ways.

-Dr. Leon Hammer

As health practitioners we are of value to the people who consult us only if we can offer them something significantly different from the usual response. Of course, we recognize and acknowledge the negative in all its destructiveness. However:

We are needed for our ability to recognize the positive quest for contact beneath the negative emotions and behavior…….

This is the beginning of a ‘new experience’ with someone who is reliably more concerned with finding, and responding to, the positive rather than the negative in them; with someone nourishing rather than condemning; with someone capable of putting, at least temporarily, another person’s needs ahead of his or her own.

Only as we allow a ‘new experience’ and provide a new model can our contact with our patients be a truly healing, growing, therapeutic experience.

-Dr. Leon Hammer

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