As I am not a doctor, I cannot get into scientific explanations. Here, I can only write a personal opinion on the subject, because there has been a lot of talk going on about Chinese/alternative medicine versus “official” Western medicine. I do not see one being in conflict with the other.

I think Western medicine has made great achievements and is a fundamental aid. Advanced therapies, bioengineering, antibiotics, vaccines… From my point of view, it is irreplaceable.

On the other hand, Chinese medicine and alternative therapies, in some situations can be a valuable aid.

A dear friend, a medical doctor, Daniele Serra, used to say: “if you take herbs instead of antibiotics, it does not mean that you are following an alternative therapy. It is not the herb that is alternative. What is alternative is the approach that a patient can take towards illness. Being aware of their own body and psyche, changing lifestyle if this helps to heal, re-acting or even better “acting” on the illness, exercising and eating healthily. This is alternative medicine.”

Hippocrates himself (460-375 BCE) – traditionally considered the father of Western medicine – in addition to recommending his patients herbs, therapies or specific diets, when possible prescribed the patient to spend a week on the beautiful island of Kos and to watch two tragedies and a comedy. Thus they took a break, getting away from their own habits to observe themselves “from the outside” and explore the human soul.

Once you take this approach, you can use phytotherapy or a treatment of antibiotics or whatever is required to stimulate and trigger your body’s self-healing. Because your body is programmed for self-healing.

This is why, another dear friend and medical doctor, expressing himself ironically, likes to say: “it is important to be healthy in order to get sick”. It is important to rest, eat well and exercise to have a body ready to fight illness.

So,  it does not matter whether we use herbs or antibiotics. When required, let’s find an honest and competent doctor to help us decide on the therapy we should follow, and let’s not follow the word of mouth, fashion, anxieties and the latest hypochondria.


Picture courtesy of Bradley Dunn on unsplash