Most of us have become familiar with the standard medical treatments that are offered in doctors offices and hospitals.We visit the doctor for everything from the common cold to injuries. Western medical doctors mainly focus on the normal physiology of the body’s systems and the healthy function of our organs. With this in mind, Western medicine revolves mostly around tools that are designed to view the physical body; the microscope, x-rays, and MRIs for example. Chinese medicine, which forms the base for acupuncture, is almost the polar opposite. This type of medicine focuses on the natural forces in the body, often called Qi or Chi, and how they function within and outside of our bodies. Chinese medicine also focuses more on the understanding of how the movement of energy and blood affect human health. Seasons, the weather, and our emotions may disrupt these flows. As a result, we have seen Western medicine specialize explicitly on treatments based on human physical anatomy, while the science behind Chinese medicine developed its applications and solutions based on the more subtle physiology of the body.The study of health has historically been based on research of human body chemistry. Western medicine’s focus is on the microscopic structure of the body’s multitude of tissues, and can inform us on the desired range for cholesterol levels, or what shapes are normal for red blood cells. Acupuncture, and Chinese medicine in general, focuses on Chi energy, its circulation in and around the body, polarities (like the popular Yin and Yang), climate & environment, and the correlation between physical and energetic systems. Chinese medicine views tissues and fluids to be important, too, but mainly because of how they interact within a more holistic environment.Western medicine, by contrast, offers a different arsenal of acceptable treatments. You can tell by understanding the treatment for viral infection; the main problem is the virus itself, not necessarily the person’s environment. When the virus is “deactivated,” the affected individual is considered cured. In a few special scenarios, such as organ transplants, much effort is taken to consider the immune system along with physical procedures. Acupuncture philosophy considers that viruses are able to multiply in the body because of imbalances in the emotional or physical states, and sometimes even their climate.Chinese medicine also views emotional problems differently than Western medicine. For example, the emotions are always included in treatment plans since they may continue to cause more physical disturbances in the future. Acupuncture is used, often along with homeopathic treatments, to correct emotional and energetic imbalances in the body. This is the reason why acupuncture is referred to a “holistic” treatment, as it treats the human being as a whole. Western medicine had a later start on treating mental illness, usually relying on blood tests to detect stress levels. Again, Western medicine still tends to rely heavily on prescription medicine to treat symptoms but it is definitely on its way towards improving preventative measures.Both Western medicine and acupuncture, including Chinese medicine, have made tremendous achievements in the art healing. Both types of medicine have their own specific training and treatments, which can be beneficial depending on your condition. By now you have hopefully gained a better understanding of the benefits of Western and Chinese medicine, and you will be able to have a better starting point if you should need to address any kind of wellness issue.