Traditional Medicine And Complementary And Alternative Medicine

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The World Health Organization has defined three types of health systems to describe the degree to which traditional medicine/complementary and alternative medicine is an officially recognized element of health care. "In an integrative system, TM/CAM [traditional medicine/complementary and alternative medicine] is officially recognized and incorporated into all areas of health care provision.... An inclusive system recognizes TM/CAM, but has not yet fully integrated it into all aspects of health care, be this health care delivery, education and training, or regulation.... With a tolerant system, the national health care system is based entirely on allopathic medicine, but some TM/CAM practices are tolerated by law."…show more content…
While Western medicine has a strong scientific basis, Traditional Chinese Medicine developed gradually through China’s long history, and is very strongly influenced by Taoist beliefs. For example, in TCM there are twelve major organs, six “yin” and six “yang”. Each of these organs are then associated with one of the Five Elements, water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. For a Chinese medicinal practitioner, a disease would be caused by an imbalance of these twelve organs, and would say something like, “too much Fire in the Lungs” as a problem of imbalance. Straightforward interactions between doctor and patient would thus be more common in TCM in order to identify where the imbalance arose through life choices and the environment. The doctor is not limited to treating only physical illnesses, but also illnesses of the mind. The symptoms and differentiating the issue would arise during this step of communication with the patient, which is bolstered by examining the patient’s qi. A fundamental of TCM is “qi”, which includes Yin and Yang, as qi is believed to be spiritual energy and is a part of all movement, such like “the flow of the cosmos” (Kaptchuk). Qi itself can be divided into many different categories, with Meridian qi being the most important for medicine. TCM views the body as a collective whole where “qi” flows through body, with an imbalance of qi leading to the disease in question. The more fixed or chronic the condition, the more
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