Comparing Western and TCM ( Traditional Chinese Medicine)
COMPARISON BETWEEN WESTERN MEDICINE AND TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINEWESTERN MEDICINEDevelopment Based on empirical experience ofpracticing TCM.Based on the scientific knowledge and practice experience.Principles of practiceBalancing Yin–Yang and the five major elements.Understanding the molecular and cellular pathophysiology of disease and targeting therapy to normalize the underlying disease process.Disease perceptionDisease is the result of interactions among different parts of the body and the environment.Disease is engendered by alter-ations in the cellular and molecular processesNomenclature of the organOrgan system is named by the organ and its related tissues. For example, kidney usually means the kidney and related organs such as bone, ear, and so on.Each organ has a unique name.Diagnostic approachDiagnosis involves inspection, auscultation and smelling, inquiry, pulse-taking, and palpation.*Diagnosis relies on history, physical examination, and diagnostic testing of biological samples (pathology, blood tests, and radiographic imaging).Principle of therapyApart from treatment of disease, TCM also focuses on the reaction of the body to herbs. Prescription is adjusted fre-quently based on signs and symptoms during follow-up visits.Emphasis is on targeted therapy that normalizes the underlying disease pathogenesis. Efficacy of treatment is evidence based. The dose of medications is adjusted or medications are changed if the effect is not achieved.Therapy with medicationsPrescription is based on the combination of multiple herbs and their interaction in order to regulate the whole body system and minimize toxic effects of herbs.Drugs are designed based on the individual target with defined molecular identity. Most patients are first treated with one drug and a second drug is added if the first medication is not efficacious.Physician trainingBased on individual experiences that have been accumulated over years of practice.Understanding of basic medical knowledge and familiarity with clinical trials and guidelines.*Inspection means observation of patient’s general condition including physical appearance and activity, body movement, skin color and condition, color and appearance of the tongue, and body secretions (urine and feces). Auscultation means listening to the voice, respiration, coughing, and so on. Smelling means to smell the odors from patients’ body, urine, and feces. Inquiry is to get patients’ current and past medical history. Pulse-taking is a diagnostic method performed by pressing patients’ radial artery to examine the strength and variability of the pulse. Palpitation is to touch, feel, and press the skin and muscle, hand and foot, and chest and abdomen in order to detect pathological changes.Source: Yifei Zhong, Yueyi Deng, Yiping Chen, Peter Y. Chuang, and John Cijiang He. Therapeutic use of traditional Chinese herbal medications for chronic kidney diseases. International Society of Nephrology. 2013.