The main difference between Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine lies in their differing views of how to deal with illness. In Western Medicine, specific pharmaceutical drugs are often prescribed to correct specific disease states. These drugs are often subject to safety concerns due to the risk of side effects from chemicals that are not natural in the body. Chinese Medicine, views disease as an imbalance in the body, or between the body and various environmental factors. The herbal agents prescribed are not to treat particular manifestations but rather to help the patient’s stressed organ systems to operate in a more natural, balanced state.
Often, Western Medicine intervenes only after crisis arises whereas Chinese Medicine anticipates problems by sustaining the body’s interior make-up. By correcting depletion and stagnation at earlier stages, Chinese Medicine believes greater problems later are avoided.
Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine are not aiming to substitute one another. They are often complementary. Whereas Western Medicine may heroically rescue a patient, Chinese Medicine can protect and preserve our healthy on a daily basis.