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Is complementary medicine as effective as Western medicine?

Posted Jun 13 2008 12:00am

Complementary medicine is rapidly becoming very popular and ranges from homeopathy, ayurveda, acupuncture to Chinese herbs. Many doctors are beginning to learn more about the complementary aspect of medicine because they are realizing that half of the people try some kind of complementary medicine before consulting their doctors, which is considered the Western medicine.

Many believe that the strongest character of Western medicine is in its trauma care and therapies for those problems that require urgent care or are considered acute. Complementary medicine is very helpful in the areas of chronic or consistent problems and preventive medicine.

Another difference between Western and Complementary medicine is complementary treats the Yang and the Western treats the Yin.  Everything in the entire world or universe is described in terms of Yin or Yang which is the Chinese philosophy of the Oriental Medicine or Complementary Medicine. The meaning of Yin is the shady side of the hill, which corresponds to the night and less active functions and is the feminine qualities of the universe. The Yang is the sunny side of the hill, which corresponds to the day and more active functions and is the masculine qualities of the universe. When thinking on medicine in general, Western medicine acts upon the Yin of the body, the actual chemicals and cells, and the substance of the body. The Complementary medicine acts upon the energy that makes the cells react. The Western medicine diagnoses and treats the state of the disease on the body itself while the alternative medicine diagnoses and acts upon the energy that makes the disease state.

With the invention of the microscope and discovering the cell, Western medicine has become more materialistic in approaching the human body. If you can’t see it under a microscope, can’t make a chemical equation of it or can’t touch it then it isn’t materialistic or if it isn’t in the physical realm then it isn’t real. In the Oriental or complementary terms, this is Yin.
The complementary medicine acts upon the Yang of the body or the Qi, Chi, energy. The Yin and Yang are always connected and acting upon how the Yin will affect the Yang and how the Yang will affect the Yin. Complementary medicine is a more casual and deeper approach to medicine than Western medicine. The most important difference between these two major medical treatments, Western and Complementary, is the difference between acting upon the body’s energy and acting upon the body’s material.

Western medicine has a tendency to treat the symptoms while complementary medicine treats the cause and complements the western medicines. The Western medical community is beginning to accept some of the complementary medicine treatments and is also offering education in the complementary treatment programs. Therefore, many Western medical practitioners are including these complementary treatments along with their conventional methods because they are becoming more educated and familiar with the use of the complementary medicines. It is very evident that Western and complementary medicines can work together and be used for the good of the patients but the patient has to be sure to check with their physician before combining these to be on the safe side.

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