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Difference between Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine

Author: John
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Time: 2020/1/13 17:15:58

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The main difference between traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine is that traditional Chinese medicine seeks holistic treatment, while western medicine focuses on the specific part of the problem. 


Of course, there are more in-depth differences in medical philosophy, preventive measures, diagnosis, and treatment. There is no absolute right or wrong between the two, or even be relatively complemented.


Traditional Chinese medicine often also represents Asian medicine, including South Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. It is rooted in Taoism's belief in Yin and Yang, as well as other religious belief systems such as ancient animism and Shamanism. Western medicine originated in ancient Greece, as well as the Middle East and Egypt before. The theory of Western medicine is rooted in the scientific belief after the slow cleaning of religion.


A key difference between Chinese and Western medicine is that western medicine regards the body as an organism, while Chinese medicine regards the soul or spirit as an integral element of the body. Therefore, in order to solve disease, TCM will treat the whole body in a holistic approach.


Traditional Chinese medicine(TCM) regards Yin and Yang as two sides of the moon. One is visible, and the other one is hidden in the shadow. Different parts of the body are described as Yin or Yang. The body is also divided into five elements: gold, wood, water, fire, and earth.


TCM also focuses on body function, but not on anatomy. Western medicine pays more attention to the latter. TCM divides the body into Qi (function), blood (blood), body fluid, and viscera (organs), and describes channels leading to limbs and joints as meridians.


In western medicine, diseases and viruses are caused by bacteria, rogue cells and genetic diseases. Another major difference between traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine is that traditional Chinese medicine regards disease as an imbalance between functions. These imbalances are placed in disharmonious patterns and are related to six kinds of excessive behaviors. 


Excessive behavior involves symptoms of the disease and is classified as excessive wind, cold, fire, heat, humidity, dryness, and summer heat. Traditional Chinese medicine is based on herbal therapy, the purpose of which is to activate the whole system, rather than just targeting specific parts and problematic elements like western medicine. 


There are thousands of medicines in traditional Chinese medicine, many of which use animals, plants, herbs, and trees. In addition, acupuncture, ear therapy and moxibustion are also used in traditional Chinese medicine.

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