Firstly, it means that when doing a diagnostic, the practitioner looks and treats the person as a whole, not just the symptoms. So it is not unusual that a patient coming for, let’s say lower back pain, sees changes and improvements in other areas of their life too, for example their energy levels.
The idea is that the patient will get relief from the symptoms by addressing the branches but will also get long term relief by addressing the roots.
Finally, it means that when doing a diagnosis, the acupuncturist will take everything into account, from the patient’s physical imbalances and/or emotional issues to the environment the patient lives in (eg: type of work, family circumstances, lifestyle…) and their diet. The practitioner will then be able to create a treatment adapted to that specific patient.