Thanks Kritanjali :) Your questions raise the important issues in this discussion and as you say, there is limited information at our disposal to make these decisions.
- The scientific method is a relatively new paradigm so what your call ancient science was based more on superstition. Patients often ask me about eastern traditional medicine from India or China. I believe these became popular because of the general wave of interest in Eastern mysticism which started in the 60’s. Today, the national health systems of both India and China are based on evidence-based medicine, as is every other country in the world. I think that is an important fact not often mentioned. What does it say about the value of Chinese medicine if the Chinese themselves don’t use it systematically and are now one of the most productive researchers in modern medicine? To answer your question then, no, I don’t see traditional therapies, as they exist now, fitting with modern medicine in an holistic strategy, but what I was trying to say in the article is that some of the principles e.g. focusing on the individual, should be incorporated into the evolving structure of modern medicine.
- I’m not sure of the answer to this, and I think it’s a question well worth exploring. I think part of the answer is that evidence-based medicine gets very ‘real’ and is a lot harder to face up to. Our mortality is presented in statistics and the treatment options are difficult to endure. The fantasy of a ‘natural’ miracle cure when placed against the villain of modern medicine has all the makings of a classic fairytale. Unfortunately, as so many patients soon found out, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.