The War Against Traditional Medicine

The first thing to get straight is that Modern Western Medicine is NOT Traditional, in spite of trying to gain that status. Modern Western Medicine — or MWM — is little more than 100 years old. Don’t get me wrong, MWM has a place, but this is largely in areas like accident, emergency medicine and acute surgery. In terms of dealing with chronic illness it is possibly creating more than it is solving, such is the influence of pharmaceutical medicine and the reliance on protocols.

MWM claims to be scientific, and has supported this with the use of the phrase “evidence-based medicine”. However, there is a strong argument that evidence-based medicine is not all its cracked up to be. And, after all, with the significant input of the pharmaceutical industry, it may have lost its way. Also, it is an established fact that MWM is directly responsible for much misery, so casting aspersions with terms like “public risk” is quite hypocritical.

So why attack Natural or Traditional Medicine? Because MWM has lost its way. The exclusive reliance on science is a mistake. The nature of the therapeutic relationship the doctor has with a patient; the increasing financial and emotional cost to the community, and the fact that the public is increasingly turning to “Alternative Medicines” are all factors that the medical profession should be taking account of.

I think MWM should look in its own backyard instead of attacking medical alternatives. This attack is based on fear and threat at many levels. But it is equally a mistake for Traditional Medicine to try and establish and maintain its position as judged by the standards of MWM. As many have pointed out, Traditional Medicine is old, possibly as old as humanity. It embraces qualities that people in pain and suffering look for, as well as the fixing of any trauma, illness or disease.

Traditional Medicine should stand on its strengths. Traditional Medicine should include the qualities of MWM that it finds useful, instead of the other way around. Traditional Medicine has a far better grasp on the causal factors in many modern and chronic diseases that MWM does not.

We should really all be having a discussion, a dialogue, rather than a conflict, even a war. Why create more trauma and hence suffering? In my time in medical practice I found that the time for genuine dialogue has not yet come, but it may be coming… I have taken my experience of practice and returned to my traditional roots, and I am no longer in the conflict that once beset me.