On Why Observational Support is Crucial

Look for us if you want to come here to learn about the treatment of diseases using Chinese medicinals. Our approach is very practical. Yes, we will cover classical treatment of such diseases, discuss the Shang Han Lun etc, but more importantly, we want to help you in understanding how the doctors here in Nanjing view the treatment of diseases using Chinese herbs. Many foreigners come here to Nanjing to follow certain doctors. During the allotted hours, they will sit in the same room as the doctor while the translator provides the following information about each patient who walks in: (1) patient has [name of disease]; (2) patient has the following signs and symptoms; (3) patient is given a herbal formula made up of [names of 12 to 20 herbs].

Say what you may about your beliefs in traditional medicine. All doctors, even in the realm of western medicine, retain their own belief systems about how medicine should be practiced. Here in Nanjing, there is a richness and variety in TCM as it is practiced. A huge majority of doctors here (this includes the old doctors in their 80s) have learned to integrate what is now known as ‘western medicine’: (1) the diagnostic tools (blood tests, ultrasounds, x-rays, etc) that come with technological advancement; as well as (2) the pharmaceutical drugs used hand-in-hand with Chinese herbs.

You may not want to use any of this in your future practice, but you will gain abundantly by exposing yourself to how they are used here in China. A patient who comes in with Rheumatoid Arthritis will be sent for a barrage of blood tests. The results of the tests give the doctor an idea of how the patient should be treated — if purely with ‘Western medicine,’ or with just Chinese medicine, or with an integration of both. This scenario is enacted in a similar fashion in the other departments, e.g. oncology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, etc.

Consider the following situations: A cancer patient in a post-operative situation may seek your help by first plonking a thick set of MRIs and blood tests in front of you. A lady plagued by infertility may have already gone to see a reproductive endocrinologist and will come in reciting the numerical status of her blood hormone levels. As a respectable practitioner of traditional medicine, would you not want to better understand the ‘bigger picture?’

Those who want to understand the bigger picture will agree that observational support is crucial. We are equipped with the necessary knowledge and experience to provide it. If you are interested, please drop us a reply in the comment box here.

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