Traditional Chinese medicine which consist of alternative therapies like herbal treatments and acupuncture, has been gaining increased acceptance in the West.They served as a good alternative to typical Western medicine. In fact, some Chinese herbal treatments have been used to develop modern prescription medication. Likewise, acupuncture has been extensively studied as an alternative or complement to surgery or drugs for some diseases.
History of Chinese Medicine
Chinese have developed one of the most ancient medical arts that are still being used today. Written records of these treatments can be traced back over four thousand years ago. In sharp contrast, conventional Western medical therapies really only stem from treatments that are, at the most, about two hundred years old. For example, the respected American Medical Association was founded in 1837.
Traditional Chinese Medicine of Today
Some people only think of acupuncture asone of Chinese medical arts. Recently, acupuncture has been studied extensively in the US and other Western countries.It is also widely used by alternative practitioners and chiropractors even doctors. However, the practice of acupuncture is just a small part of the overall medical art. Other types of ancient Chinese medical practices that are still in use today include:
- Massage techniques
- Herbal medication
- Lifestyle and diet modifications
- Meditation techniques
- Exercise (like Tai Chi)
Discerning how these practices can possibly work well compared to scientifically-developed modern medical practices is difficult. However, scientific studies have been developed and conducted to measure the effectiveness of these techniques. Chinese medicine holds up very well. These medical arts are used to treat a range of disorders and symptoms. These range from skin problems,pain to eye problems and diseases.
Because of these studies, Western doctors with conventional training have begun adding some of these practices into their own range of treatments for certain patients. These days, the reliance on invasive surgeries and strong prescriptions is becoming an issue for both doctors and patients. In many cases, traditional Asian medicine can provide a less invasive way to reduce reliance on harsher measures.
Mostly, doctors look for Chinese medical alternatives with fewer adverse side effects than their conventional counterparts. Also, the basis for these older practices is to consider the entire body as a whole system instead of just looking at one part that displays symptoms. This way, patients may find relief from their symptoms.They may also find that they are healthier overall after treatment.
The Future of Traditional Chinese Medicine
The future of these ancient medical arts is likely to be long and steady. These arts which took four millennium years to develop are not likely to fade away quickly. Many of these practices have already been incorporated into higher level health practices taught in colleges and even medical schools. There is likely to be a continued incorporation of the ancient arts with the very latest medical advances.