Supermedicine: Ancient Wellness Wisdom, Modern Scientific Solutions
Apr 01, 2017 01:10AM
by Rene Ng, DOM, AP, L.Ac.
Can you imagine what would happen if you combined over four thousand years’ worth of effective protocols in natural wellness maintenance and disease treatment with today’s most advanced diagnostic tools and medicinal drugs?
You would arguably create the most effective form medicine available to mankind––a “supermedicine” that can systematically detect and explain why a symptom or illness has occurred, its causal factors or point of origin, and how the prognosis will likely develop.
Moreover, this supermedicine would combine time-tested diagnostic techniques with modern technology to produce a super-accurate account for what is happening inside the body, while providing a means to track the efficacy of current treatment methods. A comprehensive history of clinical case histories would also usher in extremely powerful treatment protocols with high probabilities of success.
Supermedicine: An Integration of Western and Chinese Medicine
To understand this “supermedicine” concept, we need to first differentiate how the two primary forms of medicine––mainstream Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine––function. The simplest way to categorize them is with the following description:
Western Medicine: “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
Eastern Medicine: “if it’s not broken, prevent it from breaking.”
Most Americans are familiar with Western Medicine as the primary form practiced here in the USA. Western Medicine tends to be more reactive in nature and focuses primarily on symptoms, with its main objective being to manage those symptoms. It also places a lot of emphasis on human physiology and how each part of the body functions.
Within the context of Western Medicine, there are various doctors who specialize in different physiological processes and associated organs. This explains why you would visit a cardiologist for heart issues, endocrinologist for kidney issues or dermatologist for skin issues, for example. Specialist MDs also exist for certain specific types of diseases like an oncologist for cancer, gastroenterologist for stomach or gastrointestinal issues or immunologist for immune system issues.
Western Medicine also relies heavily––if not, solely––on modern technology for diagnosis such as MRI’s, CT Scans, and blood or other lab tests. The results from treatments tend to take effect within a short period of time, although the lasting period is often of minimal duration. Treatment protocols include medication, surgery, injections, laser technology, radiation, stem cell, and similar varieties.
Acupuncture is the branch of Chinese Medicine that most Americans are familiar with, even though this medicine has been around for over four thousand years. In addition to acupuncture, Chinese Medicine includes numerous other modalities such as herbal medicine, food therapy, gua sha, cupping, tui na/an mo/dit da massage therapy, lancing, qi gong or tai chi, moxibustion and others. Acupuncture has taken off in the USA over these past 25 years, and an increasing number of Americans are turning towards Chinese Medicine for their health issues.
As previously indicated, ChineseMedicine is proactive in nature. UnlikeWestern Medicine, Chinese Medicine strives to address, not only the symptoms, but also the source or underlying factors behind those symptoms. Also, unlike Western Medicine, Chinese Medicine focuses on the functions in the body, how each individual organ contributes to this integrative and inter-dependent network of functions, and the energies involved in that process.
Chinese Medicine diagnoses and treats the body as a whole, based on the idea that no organ or part of the body can be diseased without affecting another part and, eventually, the entire body. Thousands of years’ worth of case histories have resulted in a system whereby Chinese doctors can leverage symptoms and ailments to determine the underlying source of a problem and develop an effective treatment plan accordingly.
Such cases have shown that abnormalities in the face, (e.g. wrinkles, age spots or fine lines), skin, mouth, hair, eyes, sputum, breath, stool or urine, and elsewhere indicate that something is negatively impacting the body. It is also believed the tongue’s shape, color, coating and texture, along with the quality of the pulse taken at six different spots on both wrists, reflects accurately what is occurring in the body.
In fact, over the past thirty years, even Western Medicine has begun seeing correlations between certain symptoms and illnesses––just like Chinese Medicine (e.g. abnormally flush face indicating potential heart problems or a frozen deviated tongue indicating a potential stroke condition). In addition, the results achieved from Chinese Medicine often take longer to manifest, but also tend to be longer-lasting or even permanent.
Collaborative Utilization of Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine
Western Medicine’s “reactive” approach complements perfectly with Chinese Medicine’s “proactive” approach. When a patient presents with an illness, both medicines can target the symptoms, and Western Medicine’s quick-acting drugs can provide instant pain relief, while Chinese Medicine strives for a more long-lasting relief. The latter can then be used to determine the pain’s cause and origin, resulting in a more permanent solution to the issue. Let’s take a look at some examples of how this supermedicine would work:
Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine combine in a harmonious tandem when treating cancer. In general, Western Medicine’s powerful chemotherapy drugs, surgery and radiation can help to stop the cancer cells from growing, while Chinese Medicine can address the accompanying side-effects and help the body recover faster.
Lab tests, tumor markers and thermal scans can pinpoint how effective the treatments have been and whether additional steps need to be taken. Then, once the cancer is in full remission, Chinese Medicine can be leveraged to pinpoint the causal factors that contributed to the cancer’s growth, and addressing these factors can minimize, or even eliminate, a potential recurrence.
In Chinese Medicine, diabetes (both types I and II) is considered an illness of the kidneys, liver, spleen and stomach. Lab tests and insulin tests can monitor the diabetes status, while Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture can address an issue with the kidneys, liver and spleen which caused the diabetes. Western Medicine can also manage and monitor the insulin or blood-sugar levels, keeping the diabetic individual healthy. In addition, both modalities can address symptoms like diabetic neuropathy, glaucoma, mouth dryness and others.
Symptoms on the face appear due to issues or imbalances in certain organs in the body. The overall texture of the facial skin can signify impaired circulation, especially if the skin is dry and loose. These symptoms can be addressed through both Western Medicine (e.g. laser, surgery or microdermabrasion) and Chinese Medicine (e.g. massage, herbal masks or acupuncture).
The location of the facial symptoms also determines the potential organ systems in question. Further diagnosis and intake of those organs would then be taken, along with the needed bloodwork to identify the symptoms’ cause. This would then be addressed with Chinese Medicine and Western drugs as needed. Further cosmetic work on the face can be done using Western Medicine procedures like Botox or lasers.
Bells Palsy is a disorder for which Chinese Medicine has been shown to be extremely effective. Patients who present with this issue often experience outstanding results when treated soon after the first attack. Chinese Medicine points Bells Palsey to an imbalance in the liver, and treatments are focused accordingly with acupuncture, massage and herbal medicine.
Currently, corticosteroids such as Prednisone are used to address Bells Palsey, along with more invasive cosmetic facial surgical procedures, in Western Medicine. These, however, can be utilized as a last resort only if the facial issue cannot be corrected with Chinese Medicine. The photograph below shows a Bells Palsy patient whose face was corrected within three weeks of the initial attack using Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture.
[Place “bells palsy’ photo here!]
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder affecting over 2.5 million people worldwide, with an estimated 200 new cases each week in the USA according to Healthline. In Western Medicine, MS is a disorder whereby the immune system attacks itself, resulting in lesions in the brain and CNS. Various symptoms can manifest with this disease, ranging from extreme fatigue to bowel discomfort to eye issues to cognitive impairment, to muscle weakness to paralysis.
Chinese Medicine sees MS as a disorder of the circulatory system connected with the spleen, kidneys and liver. The disorder is diagnosed by imaging means, usually MRI, and once the patient is confirmed to have MS, a drug specifically made for MS is prescribed to suppress the immune system, prevent it from becoming over-active and ultimately attacking itself.
However, Chinese Medicine can address why the immune system is attacking itself by figuring out which of the organ systems is impaired and balancing out that organ in question. MRI tests can then be used to confirm the MS is managed, and lesions are not increasing.
The combination of Western and Chinese Medicines forms an extremely powerful alliance that can be used to effectively address any type of illness. Western Medicine can take advantage of documented approaches used in the treatment of various illnesses over the past four thousand years, and leverage that, in conjunction with current modalities and prescriptions, to create a refined and enhanced approach to treating diseases.
Chinese Medicine can also be used to identify potential issues through symptoms observed in the patient, then addressing them before they appear in the patient’s bloodwork. Moreover, Western Medicine can utilize current research and technology to demonstrate proof for the efficacy of Chinese Medicine and, therefore, introduce a new, integrative form of medicine––the supermedicine that will become our preferred treatment of the future.
Rene Ng, DOM, AP, L.Ac., is a board-certified, licensed Acupuncture Physician and Chinese Herbalist in Sarasota. He is a four-time winner of Sarasota’s “Favorite Acupuncture Physician” award, and has also been voted the area’s “Favorite Anti-Aging Practitioner.” For more information, call 941-773-5156 or email [email protected]hineseMedicalSolutions.com.