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Better Health Care with Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine

Many people in urban cities often feel uncomfortable in their body, dull and exhausted due to their busy and stressful lifestyles. What’s more, they may have a poor quality of sleep, poor appetite, patchiness on their faces and even constipation.

Under such circumstances, the difference between Chinese and western medicine becomes evidently clear: A health report based on western medicine could conceivably consider these people healthy, as it is what the data shows; Chinese medicine on the other hand would very likely diagnose these people as having a suboptimal health. That is, a state of health which renders the human body on the verge of being sick. More specifically, a western diagnosis fails to address the obvious loss of balance inside the body. In all likeliness these people are lacking in both Qi and Yin energy; to shift from a sub-healthy to a healthy state, they have to replenish this energy inside their bodies.

Natural Balance
This difference in the respective outcomes of western and Chinese diagnostic approaches results from how Chinese medicine understands the human body. Chinese medicine believes that there is a certain balance that exists between a human body and its environment. There are always explicit causes behind the loss of this balance that result in a person getting sick. The balance can be distorted through excess or through suppression of a number of body attributes. The key to regaining balance according to Chinese medicine is to “replenish what is lacking; reduce what is too much”.

The respective Strengths of Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine
Whereas Chinese medicine focuses on “macro—holistic diagnosis”, western medicine focuses on “micro diagnosis” at the level of a particular body part. The objectives of both Chinese and western approaches are to research and explore the (1) objective of regulating human life activities and (2) the methodology of prevention and treatment. Both approaches target the human being and disease. They each have their own medicinal systems due to their respective social, historical and philosophical differences.

The strength of western medicine lies in the accuracy of treatment. For example, after a conclusive diagnosis western medicine can offer effective treatment with a particular drug to address a specific disease. Western surgery is able to target a specific body part. This being said, western medicine is not able to deal with some diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, psoriasis, and colitis amongst others, even though said diseases may be accurately diagnosed. In addition, western medicines are not particularly effective for dealing with menstrual disorder, menstrual pain, functionality pothalamic amenorrhea and postpartum hypogalactia, whilst Chinese medicine offers good solutions through dealing with the root of their respective causes. Treatments in western medicine involving surgery, Chemotherapy, radiation treatment and targeted therapy have their own indications and contraindications. Take radiation treatment and Chemotherapy as examples. Although they effectively kill cancer cells, they also induce toxic side effects.

Chinese medicine, in contrast, is holistic, immunity-strengthening, causing fewer side effects, and has long-term applications. Leveraged correctly these benefits of Chinese medicine can compensate for the weaknesses of western medicine. Arguably, the integration of Chinese and western medicine could offer better long-term healthcare and disease prevention.

Prevention through a healthy Lifestyle
As the old Chinese saying goes: “a good effort on preventing a disease prevents the need to treat the disease”. This saying grasps the spirit of Chinese medicine: having a healthy lifestyle is the best way to avoid getting a disease. With a focus on prevention, Chinese Medicine has developed different ways to improve health; by moderating one’s diet, through body constitution diagnosis, through acupuncture, massage, moxibustion, through Qi Gong exercise, through leveraging the seasonal natural powers, and so on. On the other hand, if a person lives unhealthily, his or her will to be healthy will be nothing but an impossible dream.

But how exactly can one leverage Chinese Medicine to avoid getting diseases or to treat disease more effectively? Stay tuned for our next blog!

[staffbio staffname=”Dr Yue-Feng Guo”]Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner
PhD Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine
M.D. Chinese Medicine Gynecology, B.D. Chinese Medicine[/staffbio]

How Chinese Medicine helps Strengthening your Kids’ Health

Antibiotics Harm Your Child
A recent study published in the journal Lancet confirmed long-held suspicions against the use of antibiotics when they showed no effect in the treatment of coughs.
Prof Paul Little commented in the BBC: “The overuse of antibiotics, particularly when they are ineffective, leads to the development of resistance and has side effects like diarrhea, rash and vomiting.”
Children are particularly vulnerable since an overuse of antibiotics hurts their immune system and leads to less resistance against illnesses. How can we restore your kids health with a natural solution?

Chinese Medicine can be a potent alternative
Fortunately there are alternatives to treating mild forms of chest infections and coughs as Traditional Chinese Medicine is as useful today as it has been for centuries.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is especially effective in the treatment of coughs because of its careful differentiation of the various types of coughs.

Coughs due to excessive Heat
For instance, coughs due to heat produce a sticky phlegm that’s difficult to spit out, so it is treated with cooling, moistening herbs and acupuncture directed at specific points on the body which clear heat from the lungs.

Coughs due to excessive Cold
By comparison, coughs due to cold is accompanied by chills and plentiful mucus. It is treated with warming, drying herbs and the application of moxibustion, a traditional Chinese medicine therapy using mugwort herb.

Coughs caused by Wind
Treating a dryness cough caused by wind is another possible type. Usually contracted due to overexposure to a dry environment, symptoms are a dry, non-productive cough accompanied by a sore throat with a ticklish sensation. The focus is to repel the dryness; a typical formula includes Sang Xing Tang, which helps moisten the lungs and repel the dryness. The treatment should be accompanied by a diet of soups and plenty of liquids.

An experienced TCM doctor can differentiate the types and the root cause of a cough, and then applies unique techniques to not only fix the immediate symptoms but also address the illness at its source.
Continued use of Chinese Medicine will tackle the root cause of the health imbalance and strengthen your child’s immune system to prevent an illness to occur in the first place.

Yu Ping Feng – A powerful recipe to prevent colds
Jade Windscreen Tea, also known by its Chinese name as Yu Ping Feng, has been used by TCM practitioners for centuries to prevent the common colds experienced during the flu season.

Jade Windscreen Tea, also known as Yu Ping Feng (玉屏风)
Ingredients: Chinese parsnip root (防風), Astragalus (黄耆), Atractylodes (白术)
Cooking Instructions:
1. Clean all the ingredients, add 200ml of hot water, and bring to boil
2. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and cover. Do not lift the lid, as this will diminish the “flavor”. Cook the herbs for 30 – 45 minutes. Let the boiling liquid cool down for 15 minutes.

[staffbio staffname=”Judy Xu” staffimage=”http://orientalhealth.com.hk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/JAN_6493-e1387943852637.jpg” stafftitle=”Practice Manager
Chinese Medicine Nutritionist, CUHK, INI
MBA HKUST” staffemail=”judy.xu@orientalhealth.com.hk”]Judy is the founder of Oriental Health and a practicing TCM nutritionist. [/staffbio]