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The Difference Between TCM and Western Medicine

The theory of TCM (traditional Chinese Medicine) forms in the warring states period to the Han dynasty initially. It is marked by four classical medical books of “Yellow Emperor”, “Nanjing”, “The typhoid miscellaneous diseases theory”, and “Sheng Nong’s Herbal Classic”. 


 
Western Medicine originated in ancient Greece which stressed on the interrelations of the heart and body as well as the human body and the nature. Ancient Western Medicine attached great importance to keep healthy and believes that health mainly depends on one’s living attitude, one’s physical and mental status, the environment, diet, exercise, etc. However, the modern western medicine relies more on equipment. 
 
The differences between TCM and Western Medicine mainly include followings:

A. In the way of thinking

The biggest difference between TCM and Western Medicine is in the way of thinking. Western Medicine simply fights against diseases by human medical technology and ignores human’s self-defense and self-repairing ability. Western Medicine believes in human wisdom and technologies, while TCM relies more on the enhancement of human body’s self-ability to fight against diseases. TCM lays more stress on “maintenance” than “treatment”. It believes that “treatment” is the outside force while “maintenance” is the internal force which is also one’s self-repairing ability.
 
B. Overall Concept

The other advantage of TCM comparison with Western medicine is that there’s overall concept on TCM. TCM regards the human body as an integral whole and thinks that all of the organs and tissues are bound together. For example, the “Five elements and five organs system” believes that five organs if the most significant in human organs and all diseases have direct or indirect relations with the decline of the five organs’ function. Each organ can be connected with other organs by the theory of mutual generation and restriction.

The overall concept of TCM also reflects the relations of human being and the nature as well as the society. One can seek for treatments from the nature as well as the society. TCM emphasizes on one’s emotions especially which is reflected by one’s interpersonal relationship in the society. TCM believes that the harmony between the human being and the society is the basis of one’s health. While western medicine doesn’t have overall concept.

As a result, TCM is theorized by curing the human being suffering diseases while western medicine is theorized by curing diseases one suffer.
 
CThe types of diseases

Another difference between TCM and Western Medicine is on the types of diseases each suit. TCM has great effect on chronic diseases which are caused by body functions and decline of physical condition. It can’t be replaced by western medicine for curing chronic diseases. However, western medicine has its special advantages for treatments of trauma and infectious diseases.
 
D. The methods of diagnosis

Another difference between TCM and Western Medicine is on the methods of diagnosis. The methods of diagnosis for TCM are by “looking, smell, ask and cut”. However, Western Medicine mainly rely on the medical equipment. As the equipment has no life, the data resulting from it can not be flexibly judged according to the special conditions of patients, such as one’s face, body, behavior, etc.
 
E. Drug resources

Finally, the difference between TCM and Western Medicine is on the drug resources. Western Medicine use chemical synthetic drugs produced by industries, while TCM use the drugs extracted from the nature. Human being’s cell are resistant to western medicine which can lead to some drug induced diseases. On the contrary, Human being’s cells have more affinity to TCM because TCM are processed and deployed with no toxics basically.
 
To sum up, hope you have got a basic understanding about the difference between TCM and Western Medicine and can choose suitable medication method as you wish.
 

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