Why Chinese Medicine
Origins of Chinese Medicine
can be traced back to the earliest origins of man. Many medicines came from foods and spices found to have beneficial health effects and medicinal properties, such as garlic and tumeric. From these origins, medicine evolved from common everyday foods to herbal medicines that were prescribed for treatment of ailments. Chinese Medicine has existed in some form for more than 3,000 years. The earliest found writings date back to 15th to 11th centuries BC. Many treatments were passed down verbally from practitioners throughout China and refined into well known formulations. Over time, many foundational Chinese medicine texts were written yet a standardized methodology was not developed until the 1950’s and 1960’s.
The rise of Western Medicine
As society moved towards industrialization, modern Western medicine became the dominant medical practice for disease diagnosis and treatment. Western Medicine, with the beginning of penicillin as a key discovery in disease treatment, provides fast and effective treatment for symptoms of disease but often cannot eliminate the cause of the symptoms. The highly concentrated single molecule drugs of Western medicine come with a plethora of side-effects that can be harsh on the body and may require other drugs to offset. The main focus in Western medicine is to eliminate an existing problem by using drugs or surgery to remove and correct the problem.
The difference between Chinese and Western Medicine
Chinese Medicine recognizes the body as one interconnected biosystem, with symptoms in one area of the body possibly related to another. Instead of focusing on only treating the symptom, Chinese Medicine focuses on treating the root cause of disease throughout the body with treatments to change the overall condition of the body and immune system. Ultimately, the concept of holistically restoring health is understood in Chinese medicine to be more than merely the absence of disease. By restoring and maintaining harmony throughout the body, and understanding the body as an integrated whole, the Chinese medical provider is able to support the body to be as healthy as possible, even when there is disease present. This allows the Chinese medical provider to provide supportive care for patients with serious illnesses such as cancer, hepatitis and AIDs.
Western medicine focuses on the scientific method to treat symptoms of a disease. Utilization of well researched single compounds create effective drugs and treatments that treat symptoms quickly and effectively. Unfortunately, however, many of these treatments may effectively control a symptom but does not treat the root cause of the problem. Furthermore, the medications or treatment methods may cause secondary or tertiary side effects that require further drugs to treat, creating an endless cycle of drugs to treat side-effects.