Eastern Medical Traditions
Geographic boundaries have an enormous impact on the development of individual cultures and practices. This is very evident when comparisons are drawn between modern countries and the dynamics of their medical practices. For instance there are similarities between European countries in terms of scientific development as there are similarities between countries east of the deserts and mountain ranges of Eurasia. Neither region has less developed medical ...view middle of the document...
For this reason it is vital to study these practices to gain perspective on the growing standard of western medicinal practice. Indian Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicines have many striking similarities in regards to anatomical interpretation, diagnosis and treatments, and the overall emphasis on a spiritual experience.
The most distinct aspect of Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicines is the concept of a flowing force throughout the human body. In China the force is referred to as qi which exists as spiritual yet physical energy which invigorates both the mind and muscles of the body. Qi flows through channels or meridians from certain areas of the body into another, originating at the navel or center of the person. Illness in the Traditional Chinese method emerges from an imbalanced flow of qi. For instance, if there are symptoms in the right eye then a practitioner might assume the stomach meridian is to blame as it flows up into the right side of the head. Healthy humans should have a balanced and consistent flow of qi throughout their bodies that can be maintained with herbs and exercise. Ayurvedic healers have a similar understanding of the human body but grounded more in the physical fluids of the human body.