Friday, December 4, 2020

Can Western Medicine Accept Chinese Medicine?

 

Can Western Medicine Accept Chinese Medicine?


Q: My doctor is skeptical of Chinese medicine. Is there a way to make it acceptable to the Western medical way of thinking?

A: This is a complicated subject. Ideally, we could use scientific research to make this possible. This has been done to some extent. However, there are still problems with the research and its acceptance.


Not trying authentic Chinese medicine

Studies often differ from authentic Chinese medicine methodology. Researchers rarely make use of pattern discrimination, which is central to Chinese medicine. Furthermore, studies have yet to recognize another reality of CM: its plurality. There are many ways to practice it and many herbal formulas, herbal combinations, acupuncture point combinations, and puncture techniques.


See what you want to see

Additionally, studies of people who read and use studies have shown that when we disagree with the conclusions of a study, we are much more critical of its methodology and validity than when the results agree with our beliefs. That is a flaw in the scientific method. In the scientific method, we let the results of the study check our beliefs, not the other way around.


The good research out there

For some great acupuncture research and great commentary from a physician who dedicates his medical practice entirely to acupuncture and studies authentic KM

I did a brief review of the best acupuncture studies since the 1997 National Institutes of Health statement.


Efficacy and proof are secondary

An interesting twist: historian and anthropologist Paul Unschuld suggests that the acceptance of any medicine has more to do with how it fits or doesn't fit with the social zeitgeist (spirit of the age). People must understand a medicine in a way that fits their beliefs and values ​​first. Scientific evidence and personal experience of effectiveness are secondary.


Acceptance by western medicine

But as for the acceptance by western documents, it depends on the document. I doubt that the AMA will accept Chinese medicine as a separate and equally valid medical system. But some doctors could.


Who speaks for western medicine?

According to Modern Healthcare magazine, "Excluding medical students and residents, who are lured by deep discounts on annual fees, AMA members represent only about 29 percent of the 726,000 practicing physicians in the United States. United".


This begs the question: who represents the most doctors? How do we know what they think or want?

I did an internet search, both on Google and Yahoo, for other medical organizations ... most of them were state or country oriented.


I found a few others, but their membership numbers may overlap:


Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA): 17,000 members

American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM): 2,000 members

American Holistic Medicine Association (AHMA): membership not included

So even though the AMA represents less than a third of physicians, it doesn't seem like any other organization has that many members. Perhaps no one speaks for Western medicine.



Pattern discrimination isn't that strange

Besides all the different ontology (the study of what exists) like meridians and organ systems, a fundamentally unique feature of CM (used in China to differentiate CM from WM) is pattern discrimination.

Different treatment for different symptom / sign patterns isn't really that strange. Western doctors don't give all patients the same antihypertensive drugs, for example. It depends on the patient and there are specific groupings according to symptoms, signs and other diagnoses. We do the same, just different groupings.

Regardless, many Western physicians look down on pattern discrimination. Maybe you don't think it's scientific enough? They don't see the benefit. It is out of your paradigm.


Inequality in credibility and authority

Chinese medicine's biggest obstacle to advancing politically and in the media is that physicians are considered the only true medical authority. They are the experts in everything. Pure scientists don't get as much attention, neither do academics nor do people with master's degrees. Both politicians and journalists have this perspective. Because of this, our objections (to the actions of the AMA, FDA and pharmaceutical companies against Chinese herbal medicine) are not heard. We are not considered as competent in assessing hazards. Chinese doctors are not taken very seriously either

About the Author:

Dr. Sunil Kumar is the Public Relations Director & Writer for Holistic Junctions -- Your source of information for Holistic Practitioners; Complementary Medicine Practitioners, Complementary Medicine Schools, and Massage Therapy Schools; Insightful Literature and so much more!

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