söndag 10 juli 2011

The fragments that pass for Chinese medicine in the West: a story

A story is told in China about a peasant who had worked as a maintenance man in a newly established Western missionary hospital. When he retired to his remote home village, he took with him some hypodermic needles and lots of antibiotics. He put up a shingle, and whenever someone came to him with a fever, he injected the patient with the wonder drugs. A remarkable percentage of these people got well, despite the fact that this practitioner of Western medicine knew next to nothing about what he was doing. In the West today, much of what passes for Chinese medicine is not very different from the so called western medicine practiced by this chinese peasant. Out of a complex medical system, only the bare essentials of acupuncture technique have reached the West. Patients often get well from such treatment because acupuncture, like Western medicine, is strong medicine. But the theoretical depth and full clinical potential of Chinese medicine remain virtually unknown.”
                    - Ted Kaptchuk, Chinese medicine: the web that has no weaver, p1