Practice: East and West

 

High Patient Volume vs. Low

Eastern and Western medicine differ not only in their theoretical understanding of how the body works and how they diagnose and treat disease, they also differ in how they are typically practiced. As it is, I see fewer patients in a week than most physicians see in a day. Unfortunately, for physicians, the combination of high student loans, high malpractice insurance fees, high office overhead, and low insurance reimbursement rates leaves little room for anything but a high-volume practice. For me, working in an unhurried manner and spending ample time with each individual allows for a deeper understanding of their case and superior care. I think the high-volume, high-pressure model of Western medicine not only lowers the quality of care, but it also makes it more probable that things can be missed and mistakes can be made.
 

Practice: East and West

High Cost vs. Low

Over time, the cost of Western medicine has skyrocketed. With the development of new testing methods and imaging technology, the expense of diagnosing conditions can easily run hundreds or thousands of dollars. Add in the rising price of pharmaceutical drugs and the expansion of specialization, and it’s not hard to understand why the most common cause of bankruptcy in America is medical debt. Insurance is another money-maker in this for-profit system, with a general trend of higher costs, higher deductibles, and lower coverage every year. While most people pay for Eastern medicine out of pocket, if you add up all of the costs above, it comes out much cheaper in the long run. This is especially so if you consider the value it has as preventive medicine, as well as its ability to correct the underlying cause of disease vs. the indefinite management of symptoms.
 

Specialists vs. General Practitioners

There is a marked trend in Western medicine towards specialization. Seeing a specialist can be helpful in the sense that they have additional training and deeper knowledge on their subject. However, by focusing so much on one particular system or organ, they are less likely to see the connections between symptoms in multiple systems. When it comes to diseases of the internal organs, Eastern medicine practitioners are always evaluating all systems together to find the larger underlying patterns of imbalance. There is also more of a focus on the interrelationships among the various internal organ systems. For example, if one system is under-functioning, it is understood that other systems are going to have to work harder to make up for this deficiency, which can exhaust their energy in the long run.
 
"I have come here several times - frustrated by a western diagnosis or lack there of - and consistently I leave there feeling better both physically and mentally. Knowing there is a course of action that will heal whatever ailment is a great peace of mind. Nancy knows her stuff and explains in a helpful way. I would recommend her to any friend." ~S.H.
West Asheville Acupuncture
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2007-2024