September 30, 2016

Eastern vs. Western Medicine

When you have a headache, which hemisphere of the world do you turn to for help?

Eastern medicine treatments

It’s always good to have options. And when it comes to medicine, there a lot of them. These days, in addition to conventional med school, one now can earn accredited degrees in naturopathic medicine, chiropractic technique, or even acupuncture. Many physicians now combine practices from a wide variety of disciplines, though some treatments are hotly contested.

Below is a list of some of the better known techniques from both sides of the spectrum. It is by no means comprehensive, but it serves as a quick comparison.

What do you think? When your health is on the line, who do you trust to fix you up?

Western Treatment

Eastern Treatment

Back and Neck Pain Narcotic pain medications such as codeine, hydrocodone, and oyxcodone may be prescribed for severe back and neck pain. Side effects and risks include: impairment of mental functions, drowsiness, significant constipation and addiction. The Alexander Technique, Pilates and the Feldenkrais Method help people learn to move in a more flexible and coordinated method that can reduce pain and relieve muscle stress. Yoga posturesimprove flexibility and strength and help with psychological aspects of pain.
Headache Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. Side effects for ibuprofen include: rash, ringing in the ears, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, abdominal pain, nausea and heartburn. Ibuprofen may cause ulceration of the stomach or intestine. The herb Kudzu has been shown to effectively relieve migraines and cluster headaches, according to a study by Yale University Doctor Andrew Sewell. Acupuncture may also offer some degree of relief for chronic headaches.
Fatigue Five-hour energy and highly caffeinated drinks are common palliative remedies for fatigue. Common side effects include: Dizziness, irritability, nausea, insomnia and nervousness. Chinese herbal remedies such as ginseng seek to boost the body’s supply of qi-an Eastern concept that describes the body’s “energy flow.” Preliminary research has shown that ginseng appears to relieve fatigue and boost energy in people undergoing treatment for cancer.
Depression Prescription antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft are a common remedy for depression in Western society. Some side effects for antidepressants include: nausea, weight gain, decreased libido, erectile
dysfunction, fatigue, insomnia, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness and anxiety.
Herbal remedies, acupuncture and moxibustion — burning herbs on or near the body to expose the body to heat and smoke. Yoga, a balanced diet and breathing techniques are believed by many to be natural cures for depression.