When Should One See TCM physician
One should see a TCM doctor when illness is still at its initial stages, but not when the disease has already been confirmed through examination by Western Medicine and symptoms such as hyperthyroidism are already present, or the end phase of a disease; assistance of TCM should be sought when signs or symptoms first appear, such as insomnia, thirst, afraid of cold, fatigue, dizziness and palpitation, etc. In a word, when diseases has not developed into the stage that can be detected by Western Medicine.
Upon encountering a disease, first it is necessary to review personal life style and emotions of the patient, next to see a TCM physician (treatment at the phase of meridian disease), and then see doctor of Western Medicine (treatment at the phase of substantive organs disease) when it is beyond the expertise of TCM. This is the proper order of treatment.
If when minor ailment first appeared, immediately administer anodyne and antibiotics, this can only lead to disease of greater severity, and eventually all medicine would fail to work; this is an extremely irresponsible way of treatment.
What Is True TCM Physician?
In the United States, training of a Western Medicine doctor takes at least 7 years, not to mention years of internship before becoming a doctor. On the other hand, only about 4 years is required for the training of a TCM doctor, and after passing certain exams, one can open practice in many of the states, although they can only be called as ‘acupuncturist’.
There are many authentic TM physicians who master the essence of TCM treatment principles, and are able to treat patients at their fingertips. At the same time TCM physicians do differ greatly in their skill level and area of expertise. So extra caution is needed in the selection of TCM physicians.
Simply put, we should look for doctors whose practice is based on traditional TCM knowledge. In the United States, a large number of TCM physicians were originally doctors of Western Medicine in other countries, but unable to become doctor of Western Medicine in US, and instead became TCM physician after only a few years’ of study. However, because of their familiarity with Western Medicine, they are most welcomed by the U.S. patients.
Naturally their model of treatment is still based on Western Medicine- administering antibiotics to patients with cold, and anodyne to patients with pain; almost no TCM element is involved in their practice.
This article is based on content of “Deciphering TCM” by Tongmei Pan