“treat the symptoms but not the disease; take stop-gap measures; apply palliative remedies”
This famous Chinese saying relates to treating the symptoms rather than the root cause. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can treat both. Though, sometimes it is more important to treat the “branch” ( analogous to symptoms) than the “root” ( cause). Clinically this is sometimes difficult to differentiate. When the symptoms are so severe or so chronic, one might presume the former be treating the “branch”. As where with chronic symptoms, one may assume the “root” is the best choice. This is not always the case. This knowledge and wisdom comes from proper training and years of clinical experience.