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October 27, 2006 posted by

Eastern vs Western Medicine

I should begin by apologizing for my camera phone. It was stunning here yesterday and, during this pic, the sun was setting and the “haze” on the right of the screen was red. Oh, well. This was taken from a trail above my house; about 10 minutes on my CX bike.

My back has recovered enough to get on my bike for a couple of hours yesterday. Saw an accupuncturist and it greatly helped. I tell ya, western medicine is great if you’re very sick or have a traumatic injury. But for most of the maladies that affect daily life, eastern medicine is the way to go.

For example, going to my western doctor feels like I’m in a fallout shelter during a war. No matter what time I make an appointment I have to wait for hours in a room filled with sick patients complaining about our medical system. When I get inside, my doc wants to prescribe some medication and get me out of there asap. I can’t blame him, as there’s generally a lot of moaning and yelling coming from the other side of the wall.

Eastern medical clinics couldn’t be more different. They’re quiet and serene. Everyone on the staff is utterly calm and the entire experience is soothing. You feel better just sitting in the waiting room because it’s filling with positive energy and decorated in a way the exudes calm. Treatments involve you as an individual. Questions are asked and answers taken into consideration.

By contrast, my western doctor usually acts as if I have no idea what I’m talking about, even when I know far more than him about something. For example, I have dupuytrens in my hands from climbing and wanted a specialist to look at it. My doctor didn’t believe me (he barely knew what it was), even though I obviously knew a lot about it, and sent me to the wrong specialist twice. After this time I just found a hand doctor through my network and saw him (it took him about 3 seconds to diagnose me). But since my doctor wouldn’t recommend it, my insurance won’t cover it. They did, however, pay for three appoinments with the wrong people.

Don’t get me wrong, if I tear my ACL or get cancer, I want the most technologically advanced people I can find addressing my problem. But for everyday living, eastern medicine is where it’s at because it’s all about wellness and living in harmony with the natural world. But western doctors, who are not required to take nutrition or exercise classes, seem to ignore this part of the process. Western medicine is based on fixing problems that often arise from living a life out of balance. Eastern attempt to help keep you life in balance and, hence, avoid those problems in the first place.

They are really two completely different things and we’d save a lot of money if our system could change to acknowledge this fact. Insurance should support fitness, nutrition, and eastern medicine which, in turn, would keep my doctor’s office from looking like a fallout shelter and give him time to do the job he was trained for. Even without insurance, I suggest eastern medicine for everyone. I spent nearly two hours at my accupunturist’s office. The cost: $85.

1 Comment

  • Hey Steve,I know of what you speak. When I went in to get my orthodics for running, I went to a podiatrist. Now, most of their business is in treating diabetics with foot problems. If I had diabetes, the orthodics would be free with my insurance. Instead, I got them to help in a lifestyle in which I should never get that blood disease and its related costs. I just remember thinking how ass-backwards that was.

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