- Question from Eadie: Could you please summarize Chinese medicine for us?
Chinese medicine is actually an entirely different system of understanding health, physical function, and disease and its causes in human beings. It has its own paradigm for treatments that is radically different from Western medicine. I won't get into too much of the diagnostic aspect (there are many theories of Yin and Yang), but let's talk about the practical treatment end.
There are traditional Chinese herbs, acupuncture, diet, and there are such minor treatments as massage and physical therapy. It is much more complicated than it seems because even with herbs, the traditional Chinese formula of so-called "herbs" contains only about 80% herbs. The rest includes such things as marine life (sea horses), reptiles, insects, or minerals from stones (pearls).
It's really natural medicine, if you will, not just herbal medicine; it's the use of all things natural to treat disease. This is what is called the Materia Medica. Materia Medica is the formal Latin name for the whole universe of things that are used to treat disease. Chinese medicine, based on different diagnostic paradigms, treats diseases or conditions using such things as the treatments I've just mentioned. That would be it in a nutshell.
- Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S. Chinese medicine, like many Eastern modalities, is focused more on the person as a whole as opposed to a disease alone. It doesn't forget the human being in the process of treating a disease.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Traditional Chinese Medicine featured Raymond Chang, M.D. and moderator Beth Baughman Dupree, M.D., F.A.C.S. answering your questions about how to discuss Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with your cancer doctor.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in September 2005.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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