As an important part of China' s traditional medicine, ethnic minority medicine has much in common with traditional medicine and differs markedly from Western medicine.
Western medicine is a science based on anthropotomy and takes its first principles from studying the dead. The traditional Chinese medicine is clinical and always takes as its object of studying living people. For thousands of years, its knowledge has accumulated from the experience gained from the treatment of countless living people. Thus western medicine and Chinese traditional medicine can be seen to be utterly opposite in terms of their philosophical origins.
Differing Relationship Between Treatment and Medicine
In Western medicine, treatment and medicine are completely separate. Western
doctors use only Western medicines, which are chemical compounds created by chemists.These compounds are usually tested on animals to ensure their safety and effectiveness.
In Chinese traditional medicine, treatment and medicine are not separate. Traditional Chinese doctors are expert not only in diagnosis but also in the prescription of appropriate remedies. They have exhaustive knowledge of the effects and characteristics of various medicines and are able to invent prescriptions according to their observations of individual cases, the safety and effectiveness of the medicines being determined clinically.
Medicines typically used by Western doctors are chemically purified substances.Thus the medicines are pure monomers. Purified food is harmful and purified medicine is poisonous. Purified Western medicines take effect quickly but their purity also causes poisoning and harmful side effects.
The use of two or more ingredients is typical of Chinese traditional medicine so as to maximize the coordinating effect of mixing different substances. Dosages are also small which allows the different ingredients to work together to increase the effectiveness of the medicine and reduce the risk of poisoning. Therefore, traditional Chinese medicine functions in multidirectional ways.
Differing Principles of Diagnosis and Treatment
Chinese traditional medicine aims to "prevent" the occurrence of disease while Western medicine typically "treats" patients who are already ill. Traditional Chinese medicine subscribes to the point of view that medicine and food come from the same source while Western medicine makes a distinct separation between drug and food. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that disease comes from an imbalance in the body while Western medicine recognizes only physiological, biochemical and pathological indices.