East vs West: Which One is the Best?
By: Mohamed Mahmoud
There are many forms of medicine that help people. The medicine we know now is called Western medicine. This type of medicine let’s us view our body as a mechanical entity. This type of medicine works externally and views the body with fenice and logic of a machine.
You can view Eastern medicine, or Chinese medicine, as the opposite of Western medicine. If Western medicine can be viewed to help people physically, then Eastern medicine focuses on the mental state. It’s something that has been used in China for thousands of years.
Chinese medicine is something that helps adjust and balance your mental state, helping to reconnect a person’s mental and spiritual state. There is a central idea behind Chinese medicine—this is called the life energy or vital energy.
The belief is that it runs throughout your entire body. It is always on the move and constantly changes and works by maintaining this balance.
What needs to be balanced is the concept of balancing this internal vital energy, which is called Yin and Yang. There are the opposites, light and darkness, that need to be balanced in order to be well. If you’re imbalanced you will feel unwell.
This can relate to a concept that we go through everyday. For example, imagine if we had too much oxygen, then we could die from oxygen poisoning and asphyxiation.
Now, to actually put this into practice comes in several ways. One way would be acupuncture, where needles are pressed into the skin on certain pressure points in order to release the excess negative energy, or chi. The second is cupping, where heated cups are put onto the person, such as on their back.
A third way is by using herbs, which is usually used in the form of tea, but it can also be found in capsules, powders, or other drinks. There is a type of dried herbs called moxibustion, which is burned near the skin.
The fourth method is meditation, where you cross your legs and close your eyes as well as clean your mind of any worldly desire.
Finally, there is Tai chi, a form of meditation/yoga that consists of breathing intervals and specific patterns and movements.
One thing to note about these is that there is no harm in doing these actions. However, there might be some problems with herbal usage, since some might not be FDA approved. But since there is not much research on them, it can be hard to know exactly what is in them.
Plus, herbs can have side effects or impact other medicine you’re taking. This can be avoided by reading the label or talking to your doctor.
Eastern medicine does help, but results do vary and aren’t always guaranteed. But the same can be said for Western medicine. Even though Chinese medicine originated from the East, it is also used in the West.
Studies have shown that acupuncture is a commonly accepted method. It is good for relieving pain and doesn’t cause side effects or, at the very least, not as many as compared to things like chemotherapy.
Herbs are used in clinics for people who struggle to sleep or have arthritis. Tai chi is used to help alleviate the mental states of those with mental illness. Chinese medicine is used for anything from carpal tunnel syndrome to lowering stress.
Another important feature about Chinese medicine is that it doesn’t necessarily have to help cure specific ailments or problems. It could also be used to treat side effects, as well as be used to prevent certain illnesses.
Although there are a lot of positive features about this medicine, it shouldn’t be looked at as the holy grail of modern medicine and should not be a replacement of Western medicine.
Factors for why Eastern medicine may not be right for you can depend on age, whether you are young or old, if you are a woman who is pregnant, your taking medicine, etc.
Overall, it is open for everyone to try. It is recommended to find someone who is certified to teach you or perform this type of medicine. It is also good to look for schools with Oriental medicine. Ask your doctor which method is right for you.