Chinese Healthcare: Then and Now

Hello! Welcome to my page. I am very excited to be sharing my first post with everyone. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine

“Tradition does not mean to look after the ash, but to keep the flame alive.”

-Jean Jaures

As any culture that one may stumble across, there will always be one thing you will find which is consistent throughout: traditions. With my personal experience in healthcare, I can be one to attest to not every culture seeing eye to eye when it comes to various medical decisions or practices. Often it can get into so much of a bind that you offend the patients or their families and it may just be a bad rap tag onto your name. So the best way to avoid these types of scenarios is to be properly prepared and account for every belief which you can.

To begin with understanding this Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, we have to start from the very beginning. TCM originated in ancient China and dates back anywhere from 2,500 years ago! I know, right! who would have thought that healthcare started with a few herbs and spices that long ago. As any other part of a society, we can assume and have proof of the evolution healthcare and medicine has taken over the past few thousand years. One of the most important influences towards TCM is that the very foundation of the practice is rooted from the ancient philosophy of Toaism.

TCM was very center focused. It used a mixture of herbal remedies as well as body and mind practice to treat any illness that may come upon the Chinese people. Various ways of treatment were done through tui na, diet therapy, tai chi, moxibustion, and qi gong. The most common form of treatment that was used is acupuncture. Personally this would be my least favorite because I absolutely hate needles as would any other person.

Modern Chinese Medicine

“Don’t bother about being modern. Unfortunately it is the one thing that, whatever you do, you cannot avoid.”

-Salvador Dabi

Anyone have a prediction what the healthcare system and medicine look like today? Is it leaning towards the traditional view or the contemporary view? Unfortunately, if you have selected wither one of these answers you are incorrect… kind of. Yes we see the hospitals as the institutions of healthcare and doctors as being the saving grace but how those doctors are trained uphold more of TCM than anticipated.

When various medical staff are trained to earn their license they are taught in both Chinese and Western medicine. What does this mean you might ask. This means that not only are doctors, physicians, or surgeons trained in the contemporary medicine that is practice globally but they are also trained in traditional Chinese medicine. From there they have free range to combine traditional diagnosis with practical technological support or vice versa. There is not one way of view a disease or illness which is amazing. Diagnosis and treatment, while they have a very definitive biological cause, can also be explained traditional views. This is like having the best of both worlds if you ask me.

So where does America stand?

“The problem to be faced is: how to combine loyalty to one’s own tradition with reverence for different traditions.”

-Abraham Joshua Heschel

Answer me this: what is the most common thing that Chinese medicine and American medicine have in common? Some may say it is the modernization that has progressed throughout the past thousand years. Others will say the cultural views towards those of a different background. Thought these may all be true, the most common thing, believe it or not, that these two have in common is their treatment. When comparing Chinese medicine in American culture, it is statically proven that American use Traditional Chinese Medicine for a more contemporary health approach. In 1997, it was estimated that 10,000 healthcare providers were serving more than 1 million individuals. This number tripled in the following decades with acupuncture being the most commonly used Chinese practice following tai chi and qi gong. Again with the needles people. Never have and I never will but hey, whatever floats your boat have at it.

Well folks, that’s all I have for you. Thanks again for joining me on this very special occasion in celebrating my first post! I hope you enjoyed it. See you next time!

“The modernity of yesterday is the tradition of today, and the modernity of today will be the tradition of tomorrow.”


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