Welcome to Millwoods Acupuncture Centre

Millwoods Acupuncture Center
102, 2603 Hewes Way
Edmonton AB,   Canada

Phone: (780) 466-8683


Who tests who


Western medicine and the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are different medical systems. They look at our body in a different view and solve the illness in a different manner too. The huge success of the western medicine, based on the development of the modern science, earned large reputation in the medical area. This fact misleads the public to believe that the western medicine system should be the only way to solve human diseases. Therefore, the credibility of other medicine system, including the TCM, have been tested and evaluated by the way that is used to test the western medicine. For this reason, it is frequently accounted that, once the TCM therapies are tested by the way that is commonly used in the western medicine, it hardly works. But, in clinic, if we allow the TCM act in its own way, it works. How to understand this discrepancy?

To test if a therapy or a drug works or not, it is usually needed that the therapy or the drug is given to a group of patients with same disease for some time. Note, it is given to patients with the SAME disease.

The fact is: a disease termed in the western medicine does not mean the same in TCM. For example, hypertension (high blood pressure) is a disease in the western medicine, but it is not a “disease” in TCM. Patients with the high blood pressure may be diagnosed in “Gan Yang Shang Kang”,  “Gan Shen Yin Xu”,  “Gan shen Yang Xu”, or others and none of the diagnosis need the increased blood pressure as its diagnosis requirement. The treatment remedies used are neither aim to “reduce” the blood pressure, whereas the blood pressure may reduce after the TCM treatment.

In addition, for a given disease, such as acute pneumonia, the herbal formula to be used might be up to five, to ten (or even more). The total number of herbs used in the whole treatment course might be more than 5 or even to 10, and the formula is to be varied according to body condition of each people, not at a fixed dose to use for every one.

So how can we test if one herb, or one herbal formula works in a “disease” diagnosed by the western medicine? If one insists so, it should be asked if he wants to use the rule designed for football game, in the table tennis game too? Or if he is going to let the tennis player to play football, to see if the tennis player is super than a football player? Or, if he wants a ping pang tennis player play football on their ping pang table?

To test if TCM herb works in a “disease” condition that is believed a problem in the western medicine is as to test a ping pang tennis player to participate the football game with a trained football team, or vise versa.

Now, let’s see if we can test the effectiveness and safety of the drugs used by the western medicine, in the way as a TCM way.

The fact is, a “disease” condition diagnosed by the TCM, can also be found in lots of the “disease” conditions in the western medicine system. For example, the “Xiao Chai Hu Tang Zen”, diagnosed in the TCM can be found in more than 100 kinds of disease conditions diagnosed by the western medicine, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, menopause syndrome, MS, chronic bronchitis, acute pneumonia, various headache, arthritis… you can continue to name. Can we use a single drug to solve so many kinds of “disease”? You can image how variable and how discripacy of the comparison research results might be. In some research group, there might be more patients with hypertension, whereas in others, more with diabetes. But, all of the patients in the research projects belong to a single diagnosis in TCM: “Xiao Chai Hu Tang Zen”. Which drug can function to solve the high blood pressure and at the same time for the diabetes?

Clearly, it is not at all a smart way to test the effectiveness ands safety of  the western medicine with the TCM rule, or test them of TCM with the western medicine rule. The two medical systems look at the same objective (the body structure and function) in different view.

It is a dream to combine the two medical systems (or even with other more). In practice, it failed to really combine them. It is not a real combination if we use TCM herbs based on the western medicine diagnosis and no one knows how to use the western medicine drugs in TCM way either!

To use the TCM herbs in a western medicine way causes lots of side effects, as the Japanese experienced. So, if someone said that the TCM herbal therapy does not work or have side effects, it is better to check who prescribed the herbs and how they are used. We cannot expect a computer work well we leave it to the hands of a bear.  The practitioner should be qualified in the TCM herbal therapy.

Due to above reasons, we suggest to compare the two medical system for their final results: the overall community health condition. This can be done by choose one community in which the healthcare system is exclusively the conventional medicine. In another community with similar size, population, and living environment, the healthcare system is to use exclusively the TCM system. And in the third community, it the use of either the western medicine or the TCM depending on the decision of the doctors who understand both the medical systems.

For such research project, the final results to compare are: which medical system has lowest the clinic visiting of patients and the costs, the less need for the medical staff, but highest satisfaction rate of patients and longer life span of the community members.

It can be predicted that, the third group will be the best.

We should realize that the conventional healthcare system as it is in the Canada or USA is not the only system in the world. In some countries, such as in China, they use both conventional healthcare system as well as the TCM system. It is their lesson learned from past several ten years that to stick to the conventional medical system, it is impossible to reduce the overall number of patient visiting to doctor and the cost to healthcare system.

Chinese learned every advantages of the conventional medicine but they have also their traditional medicine too. No doubt at all that their healthcare system will win the 21th century. Medical staff here should wake up from their hallucination that they are “super” in the world.

If our healthcare authority really cares our health, they should encourage, rather than to restrict, the use of the alternative medical systems, including the TCM. Be humble and modest to learn from others, you will gain more. If one behaves not as this, he will be as a smaller container with full of water – no more space to hold more water. On the other side, the Chinese healthcare authority is a much big container with only half amount of water – they can hold more water in their big “container”.

What you want the Canadian healthcare net work to be?