Eastern and Western Medicine - Article Example

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This essay describes two opposite concepts eastern medicine and western medicine present. Both these forms of medicine have their own ways at understanding pathologies. But one thing which is common to both is that they both work for the benefit of the patient and for curing ailments…
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 Eastern and Western Medicine
Eastern medicine (acupuncture) and western medicine present two opposite concepts. Both these forms of medicine have their own ways at understanding pathologies. But one thing which is common to both is that they both work for the benefit of the patient and for curing ailments. Thus it should be realized that when the final goal of these two different conceptual medicines is the same, it would be more beneficial if these concepts are integrated and work together for the benefit of the patient.
The methods used for diagnosis and treatment of the same pathologies are very different for eastern and western medicine. Western medicine works with the concept of performing different diagnostic tests for detecting pathologies. On the other hand the eastern medicine practitioner would rather check the patient’s pulse, observe the patient’s tongue looking at its shape and color to reach to his conclusion. After finding out the cause and the pathology, the western medicine doctor would prescribe medicine or opt for surgery. The eastern medicine has an entirely different way. According to their view there is a substance known as ‘Qi’ which flows through special channels in the human body. Insertion of needles at these channels affects the flow. This method of inserting needles is used for altering the flow of Qi to organs of the body and different muscles and it is via this way that they treat ailments. This procedure is specifically known as acupuncture. The eastern medicine also uses naturally occurring herbs for its treatment purposes.
If a patient is brought in an emergency after an accident eastern medicine is not much effective for him because the patient needs immediate treatment along with blood transfusion if he has had severe blood loss. Doing acupuncture on such a patient would not be a very good step. But for patients who suffer from depression, fatigue and frequent headaches, eastern medicine proves to be very helpful. The reason is that it works more effectively and quickly in such cases whereas western medicine in these cases would delay the process and they have side effects as well. Thus recurrent headaches and other such diseases which require continuous medications should be treated with acupuncture in order to avoid the side effects of the drugs. Athletes also take the benefit of eastern medicine because of its quick response in treating muscle aches by using acupuncture. Chemotherapy for cancer along with acupuncture also is effective to reduce the side effects of the processes. Certain diseases which have been signified as idiopathic that is without any underlying reason such as fatigue syndrome can also be treated with acupuncture. But for acute conditions such as acute appendicitis surgery hence western medicine is the only option.
Information regarding the working of these medicines presents a picture which tells us that eastern medicine is more effective in the treatment of chronic conditions whereas in the cases of accidents, traumas and acute pathologies western medicine is more useful. Thus it is clear that if it is already known that which medicine works best in which particular condition it would be very much to the advantage of the patients that these two medicines be integrated for them. This is because the eventual goal of both these forms is the well being of the patient.

Sheikh, A. A., & Sheikh, K. S. (1989). Eastern and western approaches to healing: Ancient wisdom and modern knowledge. Wiley series on health psychology/behavioral medicine. New York: Wiley. Read More
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