Can you mix Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine?
There are a range of conditions that can be treated with Traditional Chinese Medicine. What exactly is it though and can it be used with western medicine? In this article, we discuss both forms of medicine. If you would like more information on TCM, speak to us on 07 3186 0587.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic way of treating underlying health conditions. Yin -yang, five elements, herbal medicine, nutrition and Qi form the cornerstone of traditional Chinese medicine. This technique is over 2000 years ago and the earliest known record is depicted in Huangdi neijing or The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic.
Acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, Chinese herbs and nutrition are some of the techniques practised in TCM. Qi ( pronounced as Chi) is the vital energy that runs through our body along channels known as 12 meridians. Any disturbances in this energy flow can cause health issues. These 12 meridians connect to the 12 major organs. Acupuncture aims to restore Qi by inserting needles into the skin. There are over 20000 acupuncture points that connect to the meridians and Acupuncture aims to restore the balance between yin and yang allowing for the normal flow of Qi through the body. Massage does the same trick, it can be used to stimulate the acupuncture points. A TCM practitioner aims to discover the source of the health condition, the affected organ and the meridian. A balanced diet including all five tastes - sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spicy - is considered to keep the immune system healthy and acts as the first line of defence from any illnesses. Tai Chi and Qi Gong are also recommended to restore the inner harmony and improve mental resilience.
TCM practitioners also prescribe herbs from the leaves, roots, stems and seeds of plants. Some common herbal formulations are dong quai, licorice, ginger or ginseng. You will receive a packet of herbs specifically designed for you and get instructions on how to consume them. Spices and herbs are used commonly in food preparations and can also be used for their medicinal properties. When they are prescribed as a remedy for an illness, they need to be consumed in a limited dose. Food carries energy and can heal the specific organs. These herbal formulations can strengthen immunity, organ functions and boost health.
In comparison to TCM, western medicine treats the symptom in isolation. Modern medicine became more popular after the Industrial Revolution. There was rapid economic growth as well as many scientific discoveries. The accidental discovery of Penicillin changed the course of medicine and is beneficial for treating several illnesses like meningitis, gonorrhea and syphilis. Modern medicine is successful in treating infectious and life-threatening conditions. Vaccines, drugs and surgical techniques are the key techniques. The drugs and vaccines require intensive clinical studies, reasearch and trials to gather evidence on the efficacy of a drug or vaccine.
The diagnosis is done by laboratory tests and treats the target in isolation. The drugs have an immediate effect and are highly effective for treating infectious diseases. However, they can cause side effects which can be short-term or long-term.
Combining Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Both forms of medicine can be combined to alleviate the symptoms and treat the root cause of the disease. This ensures the disease doesn’t reoccur.
The patients are advised to take the medicines separately. A drug-drug interaction is a possibility when both are mixed together. It could reduce the efficacy of the drug and not trigger the desired effect. Alternatively, it could also trigger a better response when taken together but more research is needed to prove this. It is recommended to take the medicines 1-2 hours apart or as prescribed by the GP. Some medicines and herbs can
TCM can be used as a complementary therapy with western medicine. If you are using TCM, discuss the medications with your GP and they can advise you which medicines can be taken together.
Looking for trusted Chinese Medicine practitioner in Brisbane?
At Health and Healing Wellness Centre, our qualified AHPRA Chinese Medicine and Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Practitioners will take a holistic approach to your condition by looking at your lifestyle, medical history, and nutrition. Get in contact with us today on 3186 0587 or book our online appointment form today.
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