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How Chinese Medicine Works

Updated on March 3, 2010

Western Medicine

The kind of Western medical attention most of us are used to involves going to the doctor when we feel sick, getting diagnosed, being given some prescription drugs and taking them. Hopefully, this will make everything better.

That sounds pretty basic but it is the essence of Western medicine. Doctors or other health care professionals treat symptoms and diseases using drugs or surgery if required.

Recent technology has improved the process of diagnosing and even treating many different conditions. Surgical procedures have also been refined and what could have been a long and painful procedure in the past may now be a relatively simple and common procedure.

Sometimes Western medicine fails to find a cure for the disease, such as in cancer. In other cases, the only solution in the absence of a cure is pain relief, like in arthritis, or "management" of chronic conditions such as psoriasis. In such situations, many people find alternative therapies in Chinese medicine.

Chinese Medicine - Natural & Holistic

People who have suffered heart attacks know that they can't just rely on a doctor to offer a quick solution for them. They are forced to realize that they also have to make some lifestyle changes themselves if they are to keep living. In a way, this concept of "balance" is at the foundation of Chinese medicine.

Chinese medicine has been around for thousands of years and has been used to treat millions of people. Where Western medicine is more focused on the body, Chinese medicine looks at the entire universe and is more holistic in diagnosis.

The concept of yin and yang forms the basis of traditional Chinese medicine. It looks more at the prevention of illness through maintaining a balance in life. This "balance" is examined between form & function, hot & cold, inside & outside, stillness & activity, right side & left side etc. All of these terms have a meaning in Chinese medicine. When someone has a disease, or dis-ease, various forms of Chinese medicine are employed to restore the state of equilibrium to the person and regulate their flow of "qi" (pronounced "chi") or "life force".

Traditional Chinese Medicine Therapies

While diet, exercise and meditation are usually the areas where most of the change is required, the following are other forms of traditional therapies that are taught in Chinese medicine schools and have been used in the east for many years.

  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Tongue Diagnosis
  • Fire Cupping
  • Moxa Stick
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Herbal Remedies
  • Massage
  • Qi Gong
  • Tai Chi

Which is better?

I believe in a more holistic approach supplement by medication where appropriate. Being able to stick to a diet and exercise regime that is right for you, complimented with being able to relief stress and enjoy a healthy "life force" is an attractive concept. It is important to be aware of other options to diagnose disease that perhaps do not involve the many side effects associated with drugs these days.


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    • marcofratelli profile image

      marcofratelli 7 years ago from Australia

      I agree, completely ignoring one method of treatment is foolish. If you acknowledge that both have merit and can even compliment each other, all of a sudden there will be many more options at hand to help you remain healthy. Cheers guys!

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      My family goes to a Chinese doctor who works with both Chinese and Western medicine. He cured a back injury I had with acupuncture (well it hasn't hurt for over a year, so I guess its cured). Good hub, mate.

    • Cassidella profile image

      Cassidella 7 years ago

      Nice Hub!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      A good hub about Chinese medicine

    • marcofratelli profile image

      marcofratelli 7 years ago from Australia

      Thanks hypnodude, always appreciate your feedback. You know someone told me about some herb the other day that was good to "keep the yang up". I told him, "ain't nothing wrong with my yang, thank you!" :)

    • hypnodude profile image

      Andrea 7 years ago from Italy

      For me the best way would be to have Chinese and Western doctors to work together, like Yin and Yang. :) We are used to think that our way is the only right one, but Chinese Medicine can be wrong after having been used for thousands years? Well done Marco. Thumbs up of course. :)