6 SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE FOR THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

December 19, 2018

Many people look at Traditional Chinese Medicine as inherently opposed to Western medicine. That’s because Western doctors typically have not experimented with Eastern medicine. In reality, however, they’re complementary. Traditional Chinese medicine has made significant impacts on the healthcare system, such as:

Relevance of Natural Products and Chinese Medicine

Many of the prescription drugs typically include natural products that compete with completely synthesised drugs. Chinese medicinal plants have been instrumental in creating 140 new drugs. Their unique properties were not found in any other natural products except for those in China, and it is those very properties that have helped Western medicine.

So far, the Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies most frequently sought out by Westerners are acupuncture, herbal medicine, and cupping. TCM practitioners must be nationally registered and accredited with the Chinese Medicine Board in Australia and practice in accordance with their registration standards.

Drug-Free Pain Relief Alternative

It’s a hassle for people to continuously add new medications to their daily regimen, and there’s always a risk of drug interactions. Patients who use acupuncture, cupping, and Gua Sha are not expected to experience any impediment to their lives, such as the opioid restriction on operating heavy machinery. Herbal remedy practitioners are trained to avoid adverse reactions.

HELP IN THE Treatment for Acute and Chronic Ailments

Often patients get to use acupuncture for effective relief of pain and other symptoms in one or a series of sessions. Evidence shows moderate effectiveness for pain, insomnia, pain, digestion and stress issues, and strong effects for ailments from pain to chemotherapy side effects. 

Best of Both Worlds to help DIFFERENT TreatmentS

Western doctors of psychology are familiar with a holistic approach to trauma called Somatic Experiencing. The theory behind it is that we store our emotions and memories in the body and by engaging in Somatic Experiencing or some other form of bodywork, patients can release their emotions, process trauma, change their behaviour and experience better psychosomatic health.

The approach to Chinese medicine is also holistic: It aims to treat both the symptoms and the underlying cause or causes. However, it contrasts with traditional Western philosophy which separates the mind, body, and emotions. Another difference is that Western philosophy holds that the mind is the soul, whereas in Eastern philosophy the heart (the centre of emotions) is the soul. Western medical doctors attempt to focus purely on the physical; acupuncture seeks to change the flow of Qi (energy) in the body.

Western doctors discovered the existence of psychosomatic disorders, in which mental and situational stress exacerbated existing health issues and pain or caused a weakening of the immune system, leading to illness. Stress is nervous energy. Hence, changing how energy flows in the body allows for the release of excess energy or redirecting energy to weaker areas of the body.

Health Maintenance 

Continued treatments boost the immune system and lessen the frequency, severity, and duration of conditions and illnesses. They also function as preventatives. The appeal of Chinese medicine has been rising since its introduction in Australia in the 19th century as a complement or supplement to Western medicine. 

Professionalism

An imitation version of acupuncture exists, but with huge differences. Dry needling uses filament needles but disregards the Chinese meridian points and involves very little training with neither registration nor standards of practice. The most common serious side effect is a pneumothorax, or lung collapse from the air inside the chest wall.

In comparison, the requirements for practices such as acupuncture encourage Western medical doctors to take TCM seriously with the appeal of serious study, practice based on quantitative research, and safety standards. Registration and accreditation standards also exist for Chinese herbal medicine, cupping and Gua Sha (skin scraping). These requirements ensure the professionalism of the practitioner and the lowest risk of side effects to patients.

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