Western and Eastern medicine refers to two different systems of medicine. Western medicine prescribes specific drugs for a disease. In contrast, Eastern medicine focuses on treating the person as a whole rather than just their symptoms.
The practice of medicine has evolved over time, and many people refer to these two distinct approaches as Eastern and Western medicine.
Eastern medicine approaches diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease in a holistic manner. This includes multiple factors that embrace the mind, body, and spirit. The practice includes a branch of treatment such as acupuncture and tai chi.
Western medicine uses a systemic approach, utilizing symptoms and separate organ systems to determine treatments.
This article will explore the key differences between Western and Eastern medicine, whether it is possible to utilize them in tandem, and their benefits to individuals.
It refers to how medical professionals, such as doctors and nurses, treat diseases using medical treatments, such as drugs, radiation, and surgery. Therefore, some people may refer to Western medicine as mainstream or conventional medicine.
However, Eastern medicine refers to medicine and treatments that are not part of standard medical care. It is one of the oldest systems of medicine in the world and originates from Asia.
Some people may
Major branches of traditional Chinese medicine include:
- Chinese herbal medicine
- Eastern nutrition and dietary therapy practices
- tuina, a form of
- tai chi and qigong
Western medicine has key foundations that form the basis of treatment. These include:
- physically examining the body and the associated symptoms
- diagnosing diseases and conditions using scientific evidence
- using treatments that are clinically proven to be effective
In contrast, Eastern medicine treatments are also more holistic, with the goal of
Eastern medicine practitioners diagnose diseases by examining the entire body with a focus on
Eastern medicine has a significant emphasis on
While Western and Eastern medicine may have slightly different principles, a
Additionally, conventional treatments are starting to incorporate certain elements of Eastern medicine.
For example, some Western medicine practices treat the whole person rather than a symptom of a disease. It also uses techniques, such as meditation, as part of treatment for mental health.
How do they complement each other?
Many believe that Eastern medicine can also complement Western healthcare practices.
Similarly, research has explored the effectiveness of tuina in treating conditions. Tuina is a manual therapy that is similar to massage and aims to stimulate the flow of energy within the body to promote balance.
The effectiveness of tuina in treating diseases is still an area of great interest.
Currently, there are trials taking place and protocols to determine the effectiveness of tuina in the treatment for:
A person should always speak with their primary care physician first, regardless of whether they are considering Western or Eastern medicine.
For example, certain diseases, such as cancer, may require more aggressive treatment, including chemotherapy, and Eastern approaches alone may not be sufficient to treat the disease.
Additionally, certain supplements may interact with prescription drugs, leading to unwanted side effects. Therefore, a person should always consult their doctor first to ensure that any treatment under consideration is safe.
While there are benefits to Eastern medicine and combining it with Western medicine, a person should exercise caution when seeking treatment.
For example, some Eastern medicine treatments use dietary supplements or herbs that do not always have
However, certain manufacturers continue to test these products. Consumers and doctors can verify the safety and side effects of herbs according to U.S. Pharmacopeia and NSF International.
Similarly, some of these products do not require a prescription. With this in mind, people should speak with their doctor before using these treatments to help ensure their safety.
Additionally, many Eastern medicine practices do not undergo regulation, and there is limited evidence from clinical trials regarding their effectiveness. Therefore, more research is still necessary to determine the effectiveness of Eastern medicine as a stand-alone treatment.
Western medicine refers to a system where medical professionals utilize medical treatments to treat symptoms of diseases. Eastern medicine refers to nonconventional treatments that focus on the person rather than just the symptoms. The latter practice also covers traditional Chinese methods such as acupuncture, tai chi, qigong, and tuina.
Eastern medicine may be beneficial in treating conditions in combination with Western medicine. For example, acupuncture can help treat back pain in tandem with routine medical treatment. Similarly, tuina can be useful in treating irritable bowel syndrome in combination with Western medicine.
However, a person should always consult their doctor before considering any treatment option.