What is the difference between TCM and conventional medicine?



When asked to compare Conventional Medicine and Chinese Medicine, there is an analogy I like to use. Conventional medicine looks at the person from the front. You know how big the nose is, the distance between the eyes, the shape of the cheeks. It is very detailed and measurable. If you go to get a blood test, the doctors can tell you how many of each type of cell you have. They can discover any abnormalities and let you know if there is some problem there. That is Conventional Medicine. ​Traditional Chinese Medicine, however, looks at the person from the back. You don’t see the details, but, just by looking carefully, you can tell if the person is strong or weak. You can tell if the left shoulder has trouble or if the right side is a little bit imbalanced. You can see the changes in color, and changes in gait, the way a person walks. Through this point of view, we can also tell a lot about a person’s health. Ideally, if we can combine these two approaches, Conventional Medicine and Chinese Medicine, which is what Integrative Medicine is all about, we could then look from both angles and have a much better understanding of what’s going on