Chinese Medicine vs. Western Medicine

A general comparison between Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine Treatment methods

Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have long been viewed as two distinct and divergent medicines. Their approaches to physiology and healing appear quite different in treatment methods. Western Medicine separates the various systems and organs of the body and exams deeper and deeper into the particles that comprise matter for a specific system or organ. Chinese Traditional Medicine views the body as one unit and that spiritual, mental, emotional and physical aspects are all seen as interrelated and interdependent with each other.

Western Medicine method of treatment is by isolating the diseased area and giving drug medications to alter, block and counteract the individual disorder. Chinese Traditional Medicine method of treatment is by identifying which parts of the whole body or systems of the body which are out of balance as indicated by visible signs and symptoms. These are then treated by stimulating the proper flow of blood, nutrients and body fluids to the affected areas by using Acupuncture, Herbal medications and/or Chinese massage to correct the imbalance and to bring the whole body back to a balanced state i.e. to homeostasis.

Western Medicine derived its theory and treatment methods from dissection, microscopic analysis and chemical reactions. Chinese Medicine, developed since 3 – 5 thousands years ago, derived its theory and treatment methods by observations, not only of the human body, but our relationship to nature, diet, life style and the environment in which we live and work.

Despite the fact that both Chinese and Western Medicines had a unique and different historical development and approach to treatment of disorders, it is fascinating to discover similarities between the two methods, complementing each other. Ironically, it is Western Medicine, which is now agreeing to and applying some of the Traditional Chinese Medicine’s methods of treatment which were developed about 5000 years ago.

The two medicines and forms of treatment are used today in some countries side by side complementing each other. Patients are given the chance to choose which method of treatment they prefer, of course, based on proper advice given by the practicing practitioners or therapists.