Jane Lyttleton recounts a story that she heard from an old
Imagine our patient is a round table, which in its diseased state, has grown sharp corners. It now looks like a square table – oh dear!
The table goes to see the specialist in corners.
‘No problem at all, my dear table. We’ll have you round again in no time at all.’ Well, right he was, more or less. The operation was performed the very next day. The surgeon, wielding a saw, quickly removed the table’s corners. The procedure was quite painful but over and done with rapidly and efficiently. Unfortunately, he cut a little too close on the fourth corner and the table lost part of one of its legs. The top, however, while not entirely round and smooth, no longer had sharp corners.
But imagine if the table had come to see the old Chinese professor himself.
‘Tut tut, how did this corner business come about?’ he would have enquired and then carefully and thoroughly felt the wood of the table’s corners, top and legs.
‘Yes,’ he might say quietly after some time, ‘I can help you to be a round table again.’ Then he would pull out a small file, apply it to one corner and begin to file. He would file and file. And even though it might be tedious and require a lot of patience on the part of both the table and the doctor, and it might take up to a year before the table would be truly its old round self again, eventually it would be beautifully smooth and strong and perfectly round again.
So, why choose acupuncture?
This story draws out attention to how the side-effects of Western medicine can sometimes be a high price to pay for the immediate and effective treatment that it offers. In fact, this promise of fast and effective results is what makes many people choose this type of treatment in the first place. Jane Lyttleton reflects that when ‘having corners’ is life-threatening, then fast and effective is exactly what we want. She notes, however, that when corners are not so critical then a slower and more subtle approach can have its advantages. Western medicine performs what seem to be miracles in situations where only a miracle will help, but in less critical situations there is every likelihood that drugs or surgery may produce troublesome side-effects rather than miracles.
It is worth noting, of course, that if the table had not developed such marked corners, then treatment with the file could have been much more effective and rapid. Also, if the table had come for treatment as soon as the corners had started to form, then filing would have achieved satisfactory results in a much shorter time. This is where an awareness of what is happening in our bodies as well as the self-compassion to care for ourselves might prevent minor issues from developing into more major ones.
Story taken from: Jane Lyttleton, Treatment of Infertility with Chinese Medicine