The fundamental difference of how Eastern and Western medicine perceive, understand and evaluate the body, health, and disease surrounds the concepts of Qi or Vital Energy. Both Eastern and Western medicine have accumulated vast amounts of information on the human body and its pathologies and have in their own rights a unique system of health maintenance. The primary foundation upon which all their theories, concepts, and facts have been built lies upon different mannerisms of observation, however. This is why we have very different health care systems although we treat the same people.
The conceptual framework of acupuncture and Chinese medicine evolved during the pre-industrial feudalistic era’s in Chinese history at least2000 years ago. Dissection of the body was not permitted on grounds of Confucian beliefs.
This evolved into cause and effect relationships within the context of wellness and disease. The unique system of medicine that resulted is defined not only by its ability, but also its requirement to encompass many different facets of a patient’s life in order to arrive at effective treatments.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are a complete and intact medical system that has been passed down from family to family, master to apprentice, and now from teacher to student. Through the refinement of the medicine directly from the successes and failures of hundreds of generations of practitioners acupuncture and Chinese medicine have endured and evolved for thousands of years. Simply because it works,but not equally for everything.
One of the greatest advancements for mankind came in the form of Western medicine especially beginning with the invention of the microscope and the development of germ theory. Technology allowed us for the first time to discover the intricate biological pathogenesis of disorders. The results have permeated through all levels of society giving us now an unprecedented advantage over many causes of suffering, pestilence and disease never before experienced by our species. Where drugs and surgery may not be the preferable first stage measure for healing for everyone they do play an important role for those whose bodies can no longer respond naturally to correct disease.
Acupuncture andChinese Medicinehas gained wider acceptance in the scientific and medical communities than ever before!
While differences do exist in the approach toward health and disease between Eastern and Western medicine, this better serves as a catalyst toward observation and understanding of the “human condition” than either medicine could do alone. After all we see the same patients with the same complaints, the same symptoms. There are strengths and weaknesses within both systems that are well known. For instance, if you break a bone surely you would go to the emergency room at your local hospital and not the waiting room of your local acupuncturist. In the same manner if you knew more on how to naturally strengthen your immunity over time how many illnesses and symptoms do you think you could be better off avoiding in the first place?
Preventative and allopathic medicine are just two different sides of the same coin. True progress will come only when there is cooperation and adequate communication between the two without the struggle of trying to find out who is “better”. After all, the common currency that is sought by both is the improved well being of the only thing that really matters in the first place, the patient.