Western Medicine Vs Traditional Chinese medicine: A beautiful analogy


Imagine our patient is a round table, which in its disease state has grown sharp corners. It now looks like a square - oh dear!

The table goes to specialist in corners. 'No problem at all my dear table. We'll have you round again in no time at all'. Well, right he was, more or less. The operation was performed the very next day. The surgeon, wielding a saw, quickly removed the table's corners. The procedure was quite painful but over and done with rapidly and efficiently. Unfortunately however, he cut a little to close to the fourth corner and the table lost part of one of its legs, an expected and accepted risk, said the specialist. The top however, while not entirely round and smooth, no longer had sharp corners. But imagine if the table had gone to see the old Chinese medicine professor.

'Tst tsk, how did this corner business come about?' He would have enquired and then carefully and thoroughly felt the wood of the tables corners, top and legs, he would have looked at it from all angles.

'Yes', he might say quietly after some time, 'I can help you be a round table again'. Then he would pull out a file, apply it to the one corner and begin to file. He would file and file. And even though it might be tedious and require a lot of patience on the part of the table and the doctor, and it might take up to a year before the table would be truly it's old round self again, eventually it would be beautifully smooth and strong and perfectly round again. We often go to alternative therapy expecting miracles, we want our pain dealt with immediately even though we have suffered with it for months and at times many years, the the discomfort is so great our expectation of a miracle is even greater. While western medicine has it's place it also comes with many risks some even being death or loss of a particular function. It may be quick but seldom solves the underlying cause or problem. Traditional medicines however, particularly traditional Chinese medicine, treat the root cause and symptoms, and as the story suggest it involves patience from both patient and doctor. The end result is improved symptoms as well as quality of life with minimal to no risk.

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