The controversial discussion about two main medical fields, Eastern and Western, is trying to answer which method is superior. There are many opinions of what is better, but before making any further judgments, let’s have a deeper look at their differences.
In short, the main difference comes from short-term versus long-term action planning. Western medicine is driven by science and is criticized for its “one size fits all” approach: in most cases patients with certain symptoms are treated alike. Meanwhile, Eastern medicine focuses on individual cases considering the bond between mind, body and spirit.
Western medicine aims its attention at physical systems and body functions. Doctors are used to emphasizing a specific part of the body, which gets damaged. Accordingly, Western philosophy concentrates on therapeutic actions to take place in the body by laboratory medications. WWII marks the start of synthetic drug development. (Mallika Chopra, INTENT)
Western medicine professionals treat a patient’s problems by prescribing medicine, using surgical operations, miscellaneous ways of treatment and even radiation. Usually it helps achieve a quick result. Modern medicine is very much appreciated in emergency situations like injuries or unexplainable body reactions when laboratories, X-Rays and other procedures help diagnose the problem and find a solution. Moreover, today’s medications can put people back on track by softening or totally eliminating many daily struggles like headache, migraine and other kind of pain.
However, there is a price to pay for these short-term solutions: Western medicine is capable of solving a medical issue without reaching the root cause. Accordingly, short-term decisions, such as radiation therapy or antidepressants and mood stabilizers, can influence/create long-term problems in the later years of the patient’s life. While a certain organ is treated, the other one can be damaged by the treatment. It is because Western medicine consists of chemical compounds. For this reason, any purchase usually gives clear indication of a side effect.
Eastern medicine is also referred to as “alternative medicine” or TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine). This medicine practice is counting more than 2,000 years and includes various forms of herbal medicine (teas, essential oils), acupuncture, massages, exercises (tai chi), dietary therapy and spiritual activities (meditation).
Natural medicine is not able to do much in emergency cases, such as car accidents or natural disasters. But on an individual human case it can make a great impact while using only natural remedies. However, the effectiveness of natural medicine isn’t proved scientifically.
TCM is based on Yin and Yang philosophic thinking, which focuses on finding the inner diseases. The main tools of Eastern medicine doctors are looking, listening and smelling, asking and touching. Looking is related with the observation of patient’s face, tongue, general physical situation and substances as urine and vomit. Listening and smelling concentrates on human voice and smells. Meanwhile, they are asking for help to indicate the location of pain and understand medical history. Touching is essential in the TCM practise.