Eastern vs Western Medicine

BY: AMATULLAH GUYOT

Photo courtesy of IntentBlog.com Western and Eastern medicine practices have different approaches when it comes to healing a person. What side are you on?
Photo courtesy of IntentBlog.com Western and Eastern medicine practices have different approaches when it comes to healing a person. What side are you on?

Long ago, the pharmaceutical industry was non-existent and people relied on natural remedies that came from "mother nature." Many remedies including Eastern and Western medicine and methods of healthcare are practiced in today's modern world across varying cultures. Today, some cultures have found a compromise between Eastern and Western medicine; this is also known as a contemporary medicine and alternative medicine. But what is the difference between the now more gravitated towards "modern" western medicine and the ancient remedies of the East?

In an article written by Julia J. Tsuei, a certified MD and Associate Professor of Public Health, Associate Professor of Obstetrics-Gynecology said, “The Western approach clearly divides the health from the disease, yet the Eastern approach considers health as a balanced state versus disease as an unbalanced state. The Western approach tends to change the environment and the Eastern way is to prefer to adapt to the environment. “ In short, Eastern alternative medicine consists of medical remedies to health problems that are not based on the modern day scientific method. Alternative medicine consists of things such as natural medicine, acupuncture, and homeopathy. They all are practiced in various parts the world for different reasons in order to heal a person's body or sickening ailment.

This type of medicine is more natural as it is usually derived from plants, trees, and other natural methods unknown to the scientific method. One of the more popular alternative medicine approaches is acupuncture and oriental medicine is slowly gaining popularity within the United States.

Western medicine, also known as conventional medicine, is an applied science that diagnosis, prevents, and ultimately defeats and treats illnesses and thus eventually restores one’s health. Contemporary medicine applies methods to find a cure for a person ailment by the usage of medical technology and research. The treatment of diagnosis is typically through pharmaceutical medication, surgery, therapy, and radiation.

Western medicine is a healthcare system that consists of healthcare professionals such as general medical doctors and more specified doctors that treat certain ailments, nurses, pharmacists, and therapists. The doctors from the Western approach must study intensively for years before passing the medical bar exam and taking the Hippocratic oath which signifies them as doctor or medical practitioners.

Just like there are traditional four-year medical institutions to help students learn about Western medicine and become certified doctors who can practice and treat patients, there are schools dedicated to certifying doctors of Eastern medical methods and acupuncture as well.

According to an introductory pamphlet to Emperors College, an institution and clinic for oriental medicine and acupuncture based in Santa Monica it says that “Oriental medicine is effective in helping prevent common medical conditions from the cold or flu to diabetes, and heart disease, and stroke.”

This sounds very appealing and too good to be true since people typically watch their diets and lead a healthy lifestyle to avoid hereditary health problems.

Stacy Camarillo Mendoza, a CSULB junior studying International Studies says medicine is a treatment by which people are treated via drugs and high-tech machines to control and prevent diseases.

"Natural alternatives are good to treat disease but they can not be as effective as pharmaceutical drugs," Mendoza said.

Herbs are the main medicine used in Eastern medical techniques. Even though some of them are toxic, they don’t have as many negative side effects on ones body as western pharmaceutical medicines do. The acupuncture needles and herbal formulas are customized to each person's medical need.

Western medicine is a one size fits all regimens but it works fast and fights to remove the invader that is attacking ones body. Eastern medicine is all about balance and energy within the body, while Western medicine aims to attack and remove foreign invaders (pathogens) within the body. Both types of medicines are useful depending on how one views and intends to use them.

What side do you stand for; Western contemporary medicine or Eastern alternative medicine?