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The Fundamental Differences between Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine

While the goal of both is to treat or cure illness and disease, there are very distinct and fundamental differences between Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine is an ancient practice that has been practiced and perfected over the course of literally thousands of years. It is also uses a very individualized approach, regarding each case as unique.  In Traditional Chinese medicine, there is no set treatment for various ailments. The treatment is based on observation and years of practice rather than diagnostic tests. The individual nature of Traditional Chinese medicine means that people will often be given a different treatment plan depending on the provider who treats them.

Regardless of illness or disease, the entire body and whole body systems are treated instead of focusing on one specific body part or organ. The practice of Chinese medicine also takes into consideration the balance of the patient within and also in relation to their environment. Treatments are natural and may include herbal teas, powders, or tonics, as well as acupuncture, Tai Chi, or Qigong exercise. TCM also includes treatments that work to prevent disease and illness.

In Traditional Chinese medicine, a good doctor is measure by his ability to keep his patients healthy and without disease.

Western Medicine

The practice of Western medicine is quite new compared to TCM. It is based on scientific research and knowledge. Western medicine relies on procedures and tests that have been developed over time. It is based on biomedical science and is highly analytical.  Western medicine also relies on the detailed chemical structure of the body.

When there is illness in a system or organ, Western medicine typically treats that specific system or organ rather than the whole body.

Synthetic chemically-based medicines are prescribed to treat patients across the board for certain ailments. There is no true individual treatment plan. Rather than focusing on disease prevention, Western medicine treats an illness or condition once it is diagnosed.

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