A Drug Free Alternative.
Whilst thought of, for thousands of years, as the primary medical system in China, Chinese medicine is considered as alternative medicine in the Western world. It is becoming increasingly popular in the Western world as people are attracted by the idea of natural healing as opposed to modern medicine and synthetically developed drugs.
Said to have been practised for 5,000 years the history of Chinese medicine is anything but lucid. Considered 2,000 years old, Hung-Di Nei-Jing (Cannon of Internal Medicine) is thought to be the first written document concerning Chinese medicine and is attributed to the Yellow Emperor. But dates and author are still far from clear.
The primary methods of Chinese medicine, and the ones people are most familiar with, are herbal medicine and acupuncture with massage, qi gong, or food therapy playing a secondary role. Through these methods Chinese medicine aims to restore harmony and regain balance to the system rather than treat the disease or illness.
Any illness or disease is caused primarily by lack of harmony. The concept of modern medicine is to treat the illness by the use of antibiotics and vaccines, whereas Chinese medicine has a holistic view, the philosophy of which is that a well balanced person will resist most illness and disease.
While more and more medical schools are including classes on alternative medicine in their syllabuses, the relationship between Chinese medicine and Western medicine is still contentious. Older Western physicians are far more probable than their Chinese counterparts to view Chinese medicine with misgivings.
This is not to say that the techniques are of no value in the West. Alternative medicine has been recognised by drug companies and the value it can give to the world of modern medicine and are employing scientists to gather information from around the world from traditional Chinese medical practitioners. T’ai Chi Ch’uan or qigong, amongst other methods, are being included in classes of hospitals and clinics as part of their inpatient and health programmes.
Chinese Medicine is not considered alternative medicine to over three quarters of the worlds population and it is precisely in the areas of prevention and dealing with physical or emotional illnesses that it excels. It has been regarded as form of non-intrusive, remedial, risk free treatment for thousands of years.
Attitudes towards modern medicine and its reliance on synthetic drugs have influenced many to seek support in alternative medicine and Chinese medicine in particular. Significantly an increasing percentage of the population are now depending on Chinese medicine to maintain good health.