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Western Medicine, Chinese Medicine, and Ayurveda: When to use what

Avail yourself of the benefits of Western medicine (when you break a bone, for example) and holistic health care such as Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine (for regular preventative health care). I have seen people who have neglected one or the other and deprived themselves of appropriate care.

Western Medicine

Western therapies can be effective in acute and critical conditions. | Dan Dickenson, FlickrThe present dogma of Western medicine ignores the internal terrain and considers symptom elimination to be a cure. It is weak in its intent to balance the terrain, strengthen immunity, and promote optimal wellness. Western medicine is mainly concerned with eliminating infectious pathogens and palliating symptoms with statistically studied “one-size-fits-all” drugs and therapy protocols.

These Western therapies can be effective in acute and critical conditions. However, for ongoing conditions, symptoms, and chronic low-grade infections, Western medicine is severely limited by its disease-care perspective, lack of attention to terrain, and lack of personalized care.

Western medicine has powerful medications, but they can dangerously force the physiology to override symptoms, especially in cases of chronic conditions. This is not how the body heals, nor does it get to the root cause of disease.

Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda

Both Chinese medicine and Ayurveda follow a principle known as fu zheng qu xie, which means “dispel the evil by supporting the righteous.” Following this principle, we fight disease by honoring individuality, strengthening immunity, and boosting vitality while at the same time eliminating infectious pathogens.

A good diet, herbs, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, exercise, and lifestyle practices (to kill the infectious evil and support righteous immunity and energy) are all terrain-oriented treatments that enhance our body’s energy and defensive capacity. | Marnie Joyce, FlickrA good diet, herbs, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, exercise, and lifestyle practices (to kill the infectious evil and support righteous immunity and energy) are all terrain-oriented treatments that enhance our body’s energy and defensive capacity.

Western medicine can be effective at destroying the pathogen (the evil) but lacks in strengthening immunity (supporting the righteous). Unfortunately, it often leaves patients in a weakened condition, vulnerable to re-occurrences of the original condition or to new and more serious ones.

What’s Your Flavor?

Presently, those of us in the Western culture have a wide range of perspectives and degrees of faith in the various forms of health care available.

At one end of the spectrum we find people who proclaim full faith in modern medical science and disdain ancient wisdom approaches such as Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. They adamantly reject anything that has not yet been proven (or culturally accepted) by modern scientific standards. They disregard thousands of years of experience and success.

At the other end of the spectrum are people who profess faith only in holistic forms of healing, while fully rejecting modern Western allopathic medicine. They are attracted to the wisdom of natural medicine while fearing modern medicine’s more dangerous practices, its lack of ability to support real health, and its one-size-fits-all approach.

I’ve seen both extremes deprive themselves of appropriate care.

For most of us, our faith falls somewhere in between. Some of us dabble in holistic health care but quickly resort to allopathic medicine when more serious symptoms emerge. Others avoid holistic medicine but come to it as a last resort when allopathy fails.

The Total Life Cleanse Approach

The TLC approach is practical. If you break a bone, go to the hospital! Otherwise, eat well, live well, and think well. As much as possible, base your care on your own individual needs and terrain, and practice fu zheng qu xie.

Learn more about holistic health care and Total Life Cleanse in my new book. Or join us for one of our Total Life Cleanse programs, held regularly throughout the year.

 

Jonathan Glass, M.Ac. Ayurvedic Practitioner


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