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One goal of making a comparison of the medicine from the east to that from the west is to further examine the usefulness and accuracy of the Oriental medical techniques applied such as acupuncture. The medicine development in the western countries follows the manner of hypothetical inference and the eastern strategy that makes use of the inductive procedure. The western approach evidently divides the disease from the health, while the eastern strategy takes health into consideration as a balanced state compared to the disease that is in this case, an unbalanced state. The western approach has a tendency to change the surrounding while the eastern way prefers to adapt to the situation in the environment. There are many challenges in making a comparison between these two strategies. The same terminology could apply wholly to various facts, the learning and teaching methods are very different and the assessment of the said treatment is hardly comparable.
Understanding the eastern strategy well requires a thorough comprehension of the fundamental concepts of Chinese. These include the concept of a small universe that lives in a bigger one, the duality concept about yin and yang; the anatomy concept, the physiology concept in Chinese medicine about the equilibrium state shown through the five elements, the pathophysiology shown through the internal and external insults; the aspect of sustaining and enhancing health expressed through the circulation of chi together with hsieh. Other concepts include the therapeutic aspect of Chinese medicine that includes the reestablishment and normalization of the body function balance and finally in understanding the concept of medicine for preventive treatment.
Eastern medicines usually appear strange and in most cases far-fetched. Their treatments also look labor-intensive with a lack of accuracy characterized with low-technology use. This is an exact opposite of what is considered to be advanced. In India, what they call an Ayurveda massage is normally given by two women for a period of two hours using amber oils spilling out of glass jugs and raining on the patient. The validity of this approach needs validation before anyone can use it.
Medical science is sometimes a product of the culture we have embraced as seen through the eastern and western medicine. Essentially, it is not a representation of an absolute truth. Eastern ancient nations like Japan and China have continued to evolve with various understandings of sickness and health. Comparing cultures can help people understand where they are coming from. When western medicine can’t deal with the sickness being faced, other choices like those from the east could come to play.
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