Chinese medicine vs Western medicine

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Gallia
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01 Aug 2018, 1:12 pm

disclaimer - these are just observations from experience -

I am often confused by the rhetoric and language of Chinese medicine - mainly because it's not a culture I am familiar with - but I will say that it saved my life when I had severe sleeping problems that even melatonin pills or sleeping pills couldn't shut my brain down. My chinese doctor said my kidneys weren't working well (as in by western medical standards I did not have a problem physically and my sleeping problems were as a result of mental stress ONLY). A couple of acupuncture session and drinking a blend of herbs he made for me to strengthen my chi and make reduce "dampness" my sleeping issue got resolved fairly quickly. It can't just be mental - me convincing myself it worked - because physically i felt my body to be more in balance and, though the anxiety didn't go away, i felt my body was beginning to work like a body should.

western medicine sees the body as a set of individual things that work to a specific function, but everything is impacted by everything and the brain is not the only body part doing the thinking. As in - if we feel pain somewhere that produces certain thoughts / messages of pain so intelligence is arguably distributed... either way, i'll leave this on here. i'm sure someone knows more about this than i do.


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15 Aug 2018, 1:14 pm

I have benefitted enormously from acupuncture. It really grounds me. I am very in tune with the points and I can help direct the practitioner to the right points. I will feel if they are a millimetre off. It really needs to be the right practitioner though. I had the most amazing five elements practitioner for years who sorted out my migraines completely. She knew my pulses so well she was able to tell the gender of both my children at 10 weeks gestation! I have tried seeing others but it hasn't been the same.

I like the holistic element and I like the pre-emptive general protection of overall health. Western medicine is very reactive. Much better philosophy to build up health so that you avoid getting ill in the first place.

It might be a coincidence but in my years having monthly acupuncture - about 5 or 6 years - I never once got a cold!


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21 Aug 2018, 4:01 pm

I truly believe TCM is the reason I'm still alive and healthier than most people in my situation.
I highly recommend it.


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21 Aug 2018, 4:58 pm

Eastern medicine is based on belief and subjective experiences.

Western medicine is based on knowledge and research.

Use your own better judgment.


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elsapelsa
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22 Aug 2018, 4:09 am

Fnord wrote:
Eastern medicine is based on belief and subjective experiences.

Western medicine is based on knowledge and research.

Use your own better judgment.


In part this is true. But there are many times western medicine is based on totally different things. Convenience, fear of law suits, old data.... Take childbirth, much of it is based on precautions and over-medicating women in labour.


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22 Aug 2018, 9:39 am

Acupuncture is bunk. And you're lucky if Chinese traditional medicine does nothing. At worst, it might lead to kidney failure.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... cures.html



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22 Aug 2018, 10:30 am

I’ve never gotten acupuncture myself but people tell me it did nothing for their migraines or back pains.

It sounds a bit too risky to me.


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22 Aug 2018, 11:52 am

elsapelsa wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Eastern medicine is based on belief and subjective experiences.

Western medicine is based on knowledge and research.

Use your own better judgment.


In part this is true. But there are many times western medicine is based on totally different things. Convenience, fear of law suits, old data... Take childbirth, much of it is based on precautions and over-medicating women in labour.
The current practice of "over-medication" during childbirth is at least rational compared to the former practice of making childbirth as uncomfortable for the mothers (who were likely to die during childbirth, btw). This was due to the belief that women were supposed to feel pain during childbirth because it says so in the Bible...

To the woman He said: "I will sharply increase your pain in childbirth; in pain you will bring forth children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." (Genesis 3:16)

This one simple verse was used to 'justify' tying women to beds at the first labor pain, denying them food, drink, fresh air, and even warmth, and then treating their deaths as "God's will". This is also used as 'justify' a male-dominated society wherein women are treated like servants and slaves.


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22 Aug 2018, 12:32 pm

Fnord wrote:
elsapelsa wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Eastern medicine is based on belief and subjective experiences.

Western medicine is based on knowledge and research.

Use your own better judgment.


In part this is true. But there are many times western medicine is based on totally different things. Convenience, fear of law suits, old data... Take childbirth, much of it is based on precautions and over-medicating women in labour.
The current practice of "over-medication" during childbirth is at least rational compared to the former practice of making childbirth as uncomfortable for the mothers (who were likely to die during childbirth, btw). This was due to the belief that women were supposed to feel pain during childbirth because it says so in the Bible...

To the woman He said: "I will sharply increase your pain in childbirth; in pain you will bring forth children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." (Genesis 3:16)

This one simple verse was used to 'justify' tying women to beds at the first labor pain, denying them food, drink, fresh air, and even warmth, and then treating their deaths as "God's will". This is also used as 'justify' a male-dominated society wherein women are treated like servants and slaves.


http://bhpelopartonormal.pbh.gov.br/est ... _birth.pdf

Quote: Countries must work hard not to allow doctors to come from places with highly medicalized ma ternity care like the US and try to sell the system of maternity care of the visiting doctor. Maternity care in the US has extreme medicalization as doctors give primary care to over 90% of normal, healthy women giving birth. As a result, birth is a surgical procedure with high rates of unnecessary interventions. Women giving birth are disempow- ered and there are huge wastes of resources, financial and professional. In the US, twice as much is spent per capita on maternity care as any other country and midwives are marginalized. This is not a system to emulate the US maternal mortality rate, perinatal mortality rate and infant mortality rate are much higher than the rates in nearly every other industrialized country. End of quote.

You know what, I hear again and again how women's point of view are ignored in hospital settings during labour. I know from experience what bullies and scaremongerers OBs can be for entirely non-evidence based medical reasons.


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Last edited by elsapelsa on 22 Aug 2018, 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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22 Aug 2018, 12:55 pm

I don't believe in TCM, especially the kind that contains the body parts of critically endangered animals or human placenta.



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22 Aug 2018, 1:06 pm

Btw, I don't believe in TCM either.

I do think Acupuncture worked on me for migraines. I tried Acupuncture with 5 different people and only one worked on me. I was with her for 4-5 years.


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22 Aug 2018, 4:48 pm

elsapelsa wrote:
Fnord wrote:
elsapelsa wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Eastern medicine is based on belief and subjective experiences. Western medicine is based on knowledge and research. Use your own better judgment.
In part this is true. But there are many times western medicine is based on totally different things. Convenience, fear of law suits, old data... Take childbirth, much of it is based on precautions and over-medicating women in labour.
The current practice of "over-medication" during childbirth is at least rational compared to the former practice of making childbirth as uncomfortable for the mothers (who were likely to die during childbirth, btw). This was due to the belief that women were supposed to feel pain during childbirth because it says so in the Bible... To the woman He said: "I will sharply increase your pain in childbirth; in pain you will bring forth children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." (Genesis 3:16) This one simple verse was used to 'justify' tying women to beds at the first labor pain, denying them food, drink, fresh air, and even warmth, and then treating their deaths as "God's will". This is also used as 'justify' a male-dominated society wherein women are treated like servants and slaves.


http://bhpelopartonormal.pbh.gov.br/est ... _birth.pdf

Quote: Countries must work hard not to allow doctors to come from places with highly medicalized maternity care like the US and try to sell the system of maternity care of the visiting doctor. Maternity care in the US has extreme medicalization as doctors give primary care to over 90% of normal, healthy women giving birth. As a result, birth is a surgical procedure with high rates of unnecessary interventions. Women giving birth are disempow- ered and there are huge wastes of resources, financial and professional. In the US, twice as much is spent per capita on maternity care as any other country and midwives are marginalized. This is not a system to emulate the US maternal mortality rate, perinatal mortality rate and infant mortality rate are much higher than the rates in nearly every other industrialized country. End of quote.

You know what, I hear again and again how women's point of view are ignored in hospital settings during labour. I know from experience what bullies and scaremongerers OBs can be for entirely non-evidence based medical reasons.

America's current OB/GYN system still have deep roots in the patriarchal system -- what the (usually) male OB or Chief of Surgery dictates is what is done, and it usually involves the 'medicalized' methods you speak of. Thus, the mother-to-be is usually anesthetized and the baby delivered via caesarean section at the first sign of trouble. This is done more for the convenience of the OB than for the safety of the mother or the baby.

Of course, sometimes it is necessary, and the minority of necessary cases are used to justify the rest.

Anyway, a system that is based on superstition and 'magic' is useless at best, and dangerous at worst. Those cases when the charms, potions and powders of eastern medicine are useless and therefore have no bearing on the patients' recovery are used to 'justify' the furtherance of those charms, potions and powders -- "It didn't hurt, so it must have helped" is the operative mentality.

And when the patient dies despite the best efforts of eastern medicine, then there is always something lurking nearby to take the blame. Never mind that western medical procedures routinely cure patients with the same illness, it is never considered to be the fault of the "eye of newt and toe of frog" that the patient was force to consume. No, it was the fault of some spirit, some demon, or some other "dark force" that caused the patient's death.



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22 Aug 2018, 5:48 pm

Fnord wrote:
elsapelsa wrote:
Fnord wrote:
elsapelsa wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Eastern medicine is based on belief and subjective experiences. Western medicine is based on knowledge and research. Use your own better judgment.
In part this is true. But there are many times western medicine is based on totally different things. Convenience, fear of law suits, old data... Take childbirth, much of it is based on precautions and over-medicating women in labour.
The current practice of "over-medication" during childbirth is at least rational compared to the former practice of making childbirth as uncomfortable for the mothers (who were likely to die during childbirth, btw). This was due to the belief that women were supposed to feel pain during childbirth because it says so in the Bible... To the woman He said: "I will sharply increase your pain in childbirth; in pain you will bring forth children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." (Genesis 3:16) This one simple verse was used to 'justify' tying women to beds at the first labor pain, denying them food, drink, fresh air, and even warmth, and then treating their deaths as "God's will". This is also used as 'justify' a male-dominated society wherein women are treated like servants and slaves.


http://bhpelopartonormal.pbh.gov.br/est ... _birth.pdf

Quote: Countries must work hard not to allow doctors to come from places with highly medicalized maternity care like the US and try to sell the system of maternity care of the visiting doctor. Maternity care in the US has extreme medicalization as doctors give primary care to over 90% of normal, healthy women giving birth. As a result, birth is a surgical procedure with high rates of unnecessary interventions. Women giving birth are disempow- ered and there are huge wastes of resources, financial and professional. In the US, twice as much is spent per capita on maternity care as any other country and midwives are marginalized. This is not a system to emulate the US maternal mortality rate, perinatal mortality rate and infant mortality rate are much higher than the rates in nearly every other industrialized country. End of quote.

You know what, I hear again and again how women's point of view are ignored in hospital settings during labour. I know from experience what bullies and scaremongerers OBs can be for entirely non-evidence based medical reasons.

America's current OB/GYN system still have deep roots in the patriarchal system -- what the (usually) male OB or Chief of Surgery dictates is what is done, and it usually involves the 'medicalized' methods you speak of. Thus, the mother-to-be is usually anesthetized and the baby delivered via caesarean section at the first sign of trouble. This is done more for the convenience of the OB than for the safety of the mother or the baby.

Of course, sometimes it is necessary, and the minority of necessary cases are used to justify the rest.

Anyway, a system that is based on superstition and 'magic' is useless at best, and dangerous at worst. Those cases when the charms, potions and powders of eastern medicine are useless and therefore have no bearing on the patients' recovery are used to 'justify' the furtherance of those charms, potions and powders -- "It didn't hurt, so it must have helped" is the operative mentality.

And when the patient dies despite the best efforts of eastern medicine, then there is always something lurking nearby to take the blame. Never mind that western medical procedures routinely cure patients with the same illness, it is never considered to be the fault of the "eye of newt and toe of frog" that the patient was force to consume. No, it was the fault of some spirit, some demon, or some other "dark force" that caused the patient's death.


That sounds about right.

I just think western medicine is fairly lacking in many fields too.

As a med school student, I was on call with a gp and watched him see patients back to back for 5 min slots and he prescribed a young woman Prozac for splitting up with her boyfriend without even looking up from his prescription pad.

Not saying people don't do great jobs, many do....and many things can be blamed on overtaxed systems and resources.... but I find myself extremely frustrated with western medical practice too.

I think the other point that is missed here is the function of the medicine. I would not go to my acupuncturist for any serious ailment but for general health purposes or a specific condition I could not get adequate help for elsewhere. Migraines, for example: going to see a gp I was told to pop pills, going to see a specialist migraine doctor at a pain clinic, I was told to ensure I had regular exercise, made some dietary changes and had Acupuncture, with pills as a last resort if these things did not help alleviate my symptoms. Based on that I made those changes and started Acupuncture and never had a migraine whilst following those suggestions.


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22 Aug 2018, 6:54 pm

elsapelsa wrote:
... I just think western medicine is fairly lacking in many fields too.

As a med school student, I was on call with a gp and watched him see patients back to back for 5 min slots and he prescribed a young woman Prozac for splitting up with her boyfriend without even looking up from his prescription pad.

Not saying people don't do great jobs, many do....and many things can be blamed on overtaxed systems and resources.... but I find myself extremely frustrated with western medical practice too.
At this point, it is vital to the discussion to differentiate between medical practices and practical medicines. The former involves the attitudes of the medical practitioners and how they affect their decision-making processes; while the latter involves the chemical compounds and mixtures that are administered to affect a cure and/or relief from symptoms.

When it comes to medical practices, there seems to be little significant difference between eastern and western practitioners -- they see a patient, ask a few questions, take a few measurements, run a few tests, and pronounce their judgements (a.k.a., a diagnosis) in accordance with the patient's needs. That's where the similarities end, however.

An eastern cure for fatigue might be an infusion of ginseng, red deer horn, and what we call 'Calomel' (a compound of mercury).

A western cure for fatigue might be an increase in exercise, an array of vitamins (especially B complexes) and minerals (especially iron), and a recommendation to up one's caffeine intake (in moderation, of course).
elsapelsa wrote:
I think the other point that is missed here is the function of the medicine. I would not go to my acupuncturist for any serious ailment but for general health purposes or a specific condition I could not get adequate help for elsewhere. Migraines, for example: going to see a gp I was told to pop pills, going to see a specialist migraine doctor at a pain clinic, I was told to ensure I had regular exercise, made some dietary changes and had Acupuncture, with pills as a last resort if these things did not help alleviate my symptoms. Based on that I made those changes and started Acupuncture and never had a migraine whilst following those suggestions.
I might try acupuncture some day to relieve pain, and only because I hate the thought of becoming addicted to opiates. For now, however, aspirin, massage and a cuddle from my wife are sufficient.


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23 Aug 2018, 2:21 am

Fnord wrote:
elsapelsa wrote:
... I just think western medicine is fairly lacking in many fields too.

As a med school student, I was on call with a gp and watched him see patients back to back for 5 min slots and he prescribed a young woman Prozac for splitting up with her boyfriend without even looking up from his prescription pad.

Not saying people don't do great jobs, many do....and many things can be blamed on overtaxed systems and resources.... but I find myself extremely frustrated with western medical practice too.
At this point, it is vital to the discussion to differentiate between medical practices and practical medicines. The former involves the attitudes of the medical practitioners and how they affect their decision-making processes; while the latter involves the chemical compounds and mixtures that are administered to affect a cure and/or relief from symptoms.

When it comes to medical practices, there seems to be little significant difference between eastern and western practitioners -- they see a patient, ask a few questions, take a few measurements, run a few tests, and pronounce their judgements (a.k.a., a diagnosis) in accordance with the patient's needs. That's where the similarities end, however.

An eastern cure for fatigue might be an infusion of ginseng, red deer horn, and what we call 'Calomel' (a compound of mercury).

A western cure for fatigue might be an increase in exercise, an array of vitamins (especially B complexes) and minerals (especially iron), and a recommendation to up one's caffeine intake (in moderation, of course).
elsapelsa wrote:
I think the other point that is missed here is the function of the medicine. I would not go to my acupuncturist for any serious ailment but for general health purposes or a specific condition I could not get adequate help for elsewhere. Migraines, for example: going to see a gp I was told to pop pills, going to see a specialist migraine doctor at a pain clinic, I was told to ensure I had regular exercise, made some dietary changes and had Acupuncture, with pills as a last resort if these things did not help alleviate my symptoms. Based on that I made those changes and started Acupuncture and never had a migraine whilst following those suggestions.
I might try acupuncture some day to relieve pain, and only because I hate the thought of becoming addicted to opiates. For now, however, aspirin, massage and a cuddle from my wife are sufficient.


Yes you are right that it is medical practices that bother me.

I am fairly crunchy and I hate pills.

I have given birth twice with no pain relief, the second time at home. Both times natural remedies helped me. I drank raspberry leaf tea and used Acupuncture points on my hand. I bathed in grated ginger and lavender to regain my energy. I have always used fennel to boost milk supply when breastfeeding. Did it work? Probably only in so far as there was no "medical" issue in the first place. But it worked out for me. But these ideas are "extras" or "boosts" they are not the meat and bread of healthcare and that is how I view alternative medicine, as something "extra". If something was really wrong I would go to the doctor.

Everywhere people have their own ideas and rememdies. Once in the Burmese jungle someone gave me a bear claw to grate and put into my children's milk to make them strong. I didn't try that though. :lol:

If you do try Acupuncture, look hard for a practioner. They differ so much. Some just insert needles and leave, come back check your pulses once, and that is it. Some (I have only met one) really get to know your pulses and are present for the whole session, checking and re- checking pulses and keeping detailed records.

My Acupuncturist was able to tell the gender of my children from my pulses at 10 weeks gestation. My suspicious husband said, well she had 50% shot, big deal.


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Gallia
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23 Aug 2018, 6:46 pm

Fnord wrote:
Eastern medicine is based on belief and subjective experiences.

Western medicine is based on knowledge and research.

Use your own better judgment.


ah Fnord I (partially) agree with you, yet CM has really surprised me. I went in extremely cynical.

E.g. for herbal remedies, I think that they are obviously sourced with healthy ingredients so they would help my blood circulation regardless of whether my chi is weak or strong. I'm not exactly sold on the idea of a chi but I think it is interesting that my doctor told me I have a "damp/ cold environment in my body" and am likely to get sore throat and feelings of depression often just by looking at the colour of my tongue and measuring my pulse! my normal temperature is actually 35 degrees (i may be a reptile), I have regular bouts of depression and since I was a child i often get throats infections. he told me to eat more spice and avoid dairy / starchy food that increase dampness.

i think CM is more passed down wisdom (which is either gonna be hit or miss) but it is based on local knowledge and research too from self administration and experimentation with different herbs to find what gives the best results. And it's the results i care about!


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Last edited by Gallia on 23 Aug 2018, 6:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.