Eastern and western approaches to medicine.

Western Journal of Medicine 07/1978; 128(6):551-7.
Source: PubMed


An objective comparison of Eastern and Western approaches to medicine is necessary to further evaluate the validity of Oriental medical techniques such as acupuncture. The development of medicine in Western nations follows the way of hypothetical deduction and the Eastern approach uses the inductive method. The Western approach clearly divides the health from the disease, yet the Eastern approach considers health as a balanced state versus disease as an unbalanced state. The Western approach tends to change the environment and the Eastern way is to prefer to adapt to the environment. There are numerous difficulties in comparing these two approaches. The same terminology may apply to entirely different facts, the teaching and learning methods are quite different, and the evaluation of the treatment is almost not comparable. IN ORDER TO HELP UNDERSTAND THE EASTERN APPROACH BETTER, AN UNDERSTANDING IS NEEDED OF THE BASIC CHINESE CONCEPTS: the concept of a small universe living in a large universe; the duality concept of yin and yang; the concept of anatomy; the concept of physiology in Chinese medicine-the state of equilibrium expressed by the five elements; the concept of pathophysiology expressed by the external and internal insults; the concept of maintaining and promoting health expressed by the circulation of chi and hsieh; the therapeutic concept in Chinese medicine-the normalization or reestablishment of balance of the body function; the concept of preventive medicine.

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    • "The method of examination is also stated in the book [1] [2]. Unlike western medicine, which clearly differentiates health and illness, the concept of health in TCM denotes a state where all body components are in good balance [3]. It is considered that an imbalance is caused by the stagnation of qi and blood flow, and acupuncture is performed on the acupoints in order to resolve the stagnation. "
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    ABSTRACT: In acupuncture therapy, diagnosis, acupoints, and stimulation for patients with the same illness are often inconsistent among between Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners. This is in part due to the paucity of evidence-based diagnostic methods in TCM. To solve this problem, establishment of validated diagnostic tool is inevitable. We first applied the Item Response Theory (IRT) model to the Five Viscera Score (FVS) to test its validity by evaluating the ability of the questionnaire items to identify an individual's latent traits. Next, the health-related QOL scale (SF-36), a suitable instrument for evaluating acupuncture therapy, was administered to evaluate whether the FVS can be used to make a health-related diagnosis. All 20 items of the FVS had adequate item discrimination, and 13 items had high item discrimination power. Measurement accuracy was suited for application in a range of individuals, from healthy to symptomatic. When the FVS and SF-36 were administered to other subjects, a part of which overlap with the first subjects, we found an association between the two scales, and the same findings were obtained when symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects were compared regardless of age and sex. In conclusion, the FVS may be effective in clinical diagnosis.
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