I’ve been asked many times whether I prefer Chinese Medicine or Western Medicine. As a Chinese Medical Provider, you would think the answer would be obvious and it is. As you might guess, I prefer neither.
What does that mean?
The one thing that I have found to be true is that the human body is complicated, bizarre, and incredible. Most things, the body seems to be able to handle all on its own. Yet sometimes, things become more complicated and the body needs help or support to get the job done.
Here are some simple guidelines that I use when I determine whether to use Western or Eastern medicine.
Timeframes can help drive the decision between Western or Eastern medicine. Many times acute or recent onset issues work better with Western medicine. Examples would be broken bones, strokes, heart attacks, acute infections, etc. Conversely, chronic or long-term issues usually work better with Eastern medicine. Examples would be diabetes, migraines, fatigue, gout, arthritis.
Another way to look at the problem is the type of symptoms being experienced. Each disease in Western medicine has a number of symptoms that identify the disease. Yet, before the illness can be identified as a disease, the person usually experiences a myriad of symptoms that are identified as non-specific. These are symptoms many people experience, but can’t tie to one illness. Symptoms of fatigue, gas, bloating, nausea, muscle weakness, eye fatigue, shortness of breath, feelings of cold or heat, itching, insomnia, and many more are experienced every day. The symptoms can’t be treated in Western medicine. They can be addressed in Eastern or Chinese medicine.
Think about how much effort are you willing to put into your own healing? A question that would seem to have a clear answer.
In the United States, the concept of immediate gratification is alive and well. We can go to a car dealership and purchase a car today, jump in the car and drive away. Not all first world counties have the ability to purchase a car in one day or even one week. We go shopping or hit a fast food restaurant and expect them to be open 24 hours a day. There are many countries where that doesn’t happen.
We grew up in a consumer environment and that drives some of our decisions. Many of us treat our health as we do our purchasing power. We expect immediate gratification even if that means we skimp on the solution. In this type of situation, Western medicine becomes the best option. The goal is quick relief and either it will work, won’t work, or have somewhat of an impact. Yet, it takes almost zero effort on your part.
If a long term solution is more what you are looking for, than putting the time into Eastern/Chinese medicine may be the right answer. The solution will take more effort. Yet, the solution will have a much more substantial end result.
Financial considerations are always an issue, especially today. The whole financial consideration is somewhat confusing today. Western medicine is significantly more expensive than Eastern/Chinese medicine. Yet, Western medicine is covered by insurance and, many times, Eastern/Chinese medicine is not covered by insurance. Financial concerns can force a decision for you.
All in all, our bodies are amazing marvels that are much more complicated than one or two medicines could address. One medicine isn’t better than another. Each medicine becomes a piece of the truth about ourselves. Maybe, all truths taken together will get us closer to the one truth that makes us unique. So, my advice to you is – don’t choose. Use them all. Revel in the diversity of opinions. You control your health, and you make get to make the last decision. Honor yourself as CEO of your health with each Medical practitioner playing a supporting role to “Company You, Inc.”