Crossing Bridges

26 February 2009 0 comments
"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn the past, worry about the future or to anticipate trouble but to live in the present wisely and earnestly."

"Are all practitioners of alternative medicine quacks? No, they're often sharp people who think differently about disease" This from a heart surgeon quoted in the New York Times Magazine, speaking to Americans' suspicions of non-traditional medicines.

Of course, I am one of this group of practitioners - and we can think differently together. In this country. It's no secret that we are all confused and concerned about health care. Perhaps we really have a crisis on our hands and perhaps we don't: however, costs are rising and sometimes people get less-than-adequate care.

We have amazing care for some diseases within the Western Medical framework - and yet we have no cure for the common cold, for "burnout" chronic fatigue and many cancers.

Interestingly, Traditional Chinese Medicine can fill in some of the holes. Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine do well together when in a partnership - filling each others' deficits, bringing a better health care to Americans and to our world.

They are complementary - and so, we can call Traditional Chinese Medicine a Complementary Medicine - and Western and Eastern doctors can work better together to help you.

Some Western-trained practitioners, such as Dr. Andrew Weil, are very public about their study of complementary therapies - and his writing and speaking are helping to educate all of us about the bridges between our work. Eastern and Western doctors can learn from each other and have much to give each other...and your health is our challenge.

Traditional Chinese Medicine - acupuncture and herbs - is not new. Five thousand years old, more people have been treated by this medicine in the history of the earth than by any other medical modality. Before our modern societies could build skyscrapers, Chinese Medicine could cure the common cold.

And somehow, in all the excitement and the shouting, we have forgotten the most simple thing. Treating a cold...

Here it is: when you first feel chilled, sneezing, stiff, achy - but no sweating or congestion...then drink cinnamon twig tea, taken hot. If you are feverish and sweating with a more severe sore throat, then please drink peppermint tea, also hot.

All our great-grandparents knew of old folk medicines...and they were not all bad. Thank goodness we do have penicillin now - and the old and the new can work together.

There is this old song..."make new friends, but keep the is silver and the other gold".



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