Sunday, July 17, 2005

A Health Machine

Let's say that Janice had created a machine that kept a person healthy and was able to bring a person back to health when they got sick. It took Janice 30 years to develop this machine and get it perfectly right, but now it works great.

Then let's say Marvin came along and said "Oh, fine, that health machine works for you and your patients, Janice, but I can't figure out how your machine works. So I'm going to build my own machine based on 'true science.'"

Then Marvin goes on to develop a machine that works not nearly as well, kills many of his patients (but helps some) and costs a lot more to operate. However, it does match his scientific calculations perfectly.

Now let's unmask the players. Janice is China, and Janice's machine is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Marvin is the U.S., and his machine is Western medicine.

Western medicine kills over 100,000 people every year in the U.S. It is based on scientific principles, yes, but it has developed only over the last 100 years or less.

Chinese medicine has been improved over the past 3,000 years, and it works for billions of people. Why did we have to re-invent the wheel? Why do we continue to re-invent medicine? The Chinese and Indians (and Native Americans) had systems that worked well and that they continue to use.

Is it just the romantic notion that knowing the science behind a solution can solve all our health problems?

For me, I'm going to put my health into the hands of a practitioner with 3,000 years of experience behind him, rather than the newest, latest Vioxx to hit the shelfs.

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