4 Ways Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine Compliment Each Other

For those looking for a 100 percent natural way to address health conditions at the body–mind–spirit level, you can join the club at the platinum level by using the complete system of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and its Five Element energetic framework. If you want to join at a different level, there are effective ways you can mix and match this ancient self-healing system with Western medicine.

After this Rio Olympics, people in the U.S. are familiar with acupuncture. It’s one of the treatment options of TCM. Here are a few things you need to know when looking at integrating TCM and Western medicine. They both have their own strengths. For example, TCM is a deep spiritual practice of ancient Qigong masters, while western medicine developed primarily through scientific experimentation and observation. TCM is an energy-based medicine that looks at the body, mind and spirit from the perspective of Oneness or inseparability. Western medicine is increasingly a technology-based system of analysis, differentiation and separation. You could say that TCM has a specialty in the body’s “software or energy system,” while Western medicine has a specialty in its “hardware or physical systems.”

One way TCM and Western medicine can work well together is when a prescription medication causes side effects and a second one is prescribed to take care of these. For instance, strong pain medications often cause opiod constipation. Today, new drugs claim to eliminate the constipation caused by the first drug. Unfortunately, the second drug produces its own set of side effects. Sometimes, even a third medication might be needed. In this case, TCM will come into the picture, it is very effective at understanding the root cause of side effects and resolving them so the body can come back into balance and treatment can be continued.

Many people take advantage of acupuncture to relief their pain. However, its efficacy goes far beyond pain  relief. It enables the body’s energy system to get rebalanced, in turn, the body will have the ability to self-heal. TCM and Western medicine can team up a second way when it comes to conditions like hay fever, which TCM doesn’t consider an illness or disease. In this medical system, hay fever results when the body isn’t strong enough to smoothly navigate Nature’s seasonal energy transition—be it spring or fall, or both. Here, TCM works well with Western medications to diminish and eventually heal hay fever symptoms completely. When hay fever season arrives, with only a few acupuncture treatments, many individuals can go through the spring or fall without any medication at all.

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A third way TCM and Western medicine complement each other is in the area of an adjuvant cancer therapy called tamoxifen—prescribed as a five-year, follow-up treatment for breast cancer. Unfortunately,  many give up the treatment due to tamoxifen’s side effects—night sweats, hot flashes, insomnia, among others. TCM can help resolve this by relieving tamoxifen’s side effects with natural treatments like acupuncture, acupressure, Qigong movements, herbal therapy and lifestyle changes.

A fourth way TCM and Western medicine work well together is in the area of infertility. Couples try so hard to become pregnant and spend a lot of time and money on IVF treatments. When they don’t work, high chances that the woman’s body is not balances or her organs not functioning well. More IVF treatments only adds burden for her. If the couple takes a break, gives their bodies time to rest, rebalance themselves and work with TCM to improve the woman’s overall health, couples often experience tremendous benefits.

In China, it’s common practice for traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine to be practiced side by side. Hospital and clinics know how, when, where and why they can be integrated for optimum patient results. This is especially true for cancer treatment, where individuals are prescribed certain herbal formulas to alleviate the serious side effects of chemotherapy and radiation so cancer treatment can be completed.