Is Chinese Medicine As Good? Or Is It Better?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is one of the fastest growing natural therapies in the world. It was introduced to the west less than 30 years ago, but the number of practitioners and their patients is constantly on the increase. Almost every suburb in Sydney has at least one clinic or Chinese herbal shop and some have dozens. The number of books about TCM, magazine articles and TV programs dedicated to the subject is in its highest. It has been taught at many universities and colleges many offering post graduate studies.
Wonderful!! Australia and many other western countries seem to offer Chinese medicine practitioners ideal conditions for growth and development, you might think. But, is it really so. Let's check some facts.
Firstly, being foreign and new in the west, TCM was not recognised and is still not in most countries. In other words, it had to compete with an established, recognised medical system that offers most treatments for free.
Secondly, even though TCM can treat many conditions that western medicine cannot (especially the chronic ones), in the west, its practitioners are not allowed to claim they can. Why? Because medical laws are written by doctors and since they cannot treat all the so called "untreatable" conditions, they prohibit anybody else to claim they can.
Thirdly, some very good herbs are banned from being imported into countries like Australia or are restricted to doctors only to prescribe them, under the pretext that they are toxic (which if they are, TCM practitioners are more qualified to know how to use them safely because it is their medicine).
Fourthly, it is a well known fact that western medicine has many side effects and that only in Australia, about 1,400 people die each year as a result of doctors' mistakes.
At the same time, some 150,000 patients get other mild to severe injuries and disabilities (while they proudly say it is a "pretty good record" compared to many other western countries). On the other hand, there is hardly anyone dying from TCM in the world, but if anyone ever experienced anything bad from using it, that becomes top news in the mass media and then new, tougher laws are introduced immediately to protect people from danger. These new laws would normally limit the TCM practitioners' freedom and enable doctors and western medical administration to have more control over TCM. If it wasn't sad, it would be very funny.
What's even more amazing is the fact that doctors are so well protected and backed by the system that, despite all the above, are still able to carry on their practice as if nothing happened.
And finally, most good practitioners of TCM can't even speak proper English while the western medical army of experts (doctors, lawyers, graphic designers, writers, IT people) promote their services on a large scale and, supported by huge drug companies, advertise their miraculous pills on TV, radio and in popular magazines.
We wouldn't refer to the above as "ideal condition" for development of anything. The only reason TCM is going the way it is, is because it has a lot to offer and in many ways it's better than western medicine. Not "as good" but "better", because if it is only "as good" nobody would pay from their own pockets for something of equal value that they can get for free in any of the conveniently located , bright and clean buildings known as medical centres and pharmacies, where everything can be explained to them in clear English and packaged nicely.