Our Practice Combines the Best of Western and Eastern Medicine In Our Houston Primary Care Services
Both Western and Eastern approaches to medicine offer valuable perspectives to practitioners. That may be why an emerging number of physicians and medical organizations are blending the two to create better treatment regimens. That includes the prestigious Mayo Clinic and several medical colleges, like the Duke University Medical Center.
Our practice also integrates Eastern and Western practices to provide more effective treatment. If you’re managing pain or fatigue related to a chronic condition, our practice can provide additional treatment options and ensure your whole body health is considered.
How Do Traditional Eastern Practices Fit Into Mainstream Western Medical Care?
Western and Eastern medicine both have traditions that reach back thousands of years, created by brilliant medical minds. Today, both are practiced by experts educated in either, or both, disciplines. That may be where the similarities end, though. What makes the two philosophies different and how can they be blended for maximum effectiveness? Here’s a closer look at each:
- Western medicine – Western medicine is what most U.S. patients are familiar with. Western medicine’s roots date back to the ancient Greeks. Hippocrates is probably the most notable among the ancient Greeks as far as medicine, and the well-known Hippocratic Oath (“do no harm”) was established by him.
From the days of the Ancient Greeks, Western Medicine has been focused on identifying particular medical conditions and using a combination of medication and surgery to treat them. Compared to Eastern medicine, Western medicine places much more emphasis on dividing the body into various organ systems and treating them separately.
- Eastern medicine – Eastern Medicine also has a long, rich history. Although the exact origins are unknown, medical texts that include Eastern Medicine tenets date back to 3rd century BC. The oldest discovered text is the Huangdi neijing, and some of that text’s medical concepts are still part of Eastern medicine’s foundation.
Eastern medicine practitioners treat the entire body when treating a patient, with the goal being to prevent health conditions and accelerate recovery time.
Western and Eastern medicine take different approaches to treatment, but they can complement each other when handled by a practitioner experienced in both. While Western medicine has provided the world with many revolutionary medical technologies and improved quality of life, there are some conditions that respond better to a mix of Western and Eastern medical practices.
One such practice is acupuncture, which is now used on millions of U.S. patients to manage pain, fatigue, and other conditions.
Acupuncture Is Backed By An Impressive Amount Of Medical Research
While Eastern medicine consists of much more than just acupuncture, there’s no denying that it’s an extremely popular option for people all over the world. That’s because it is a proven method of pain and energy management. In fact, there’s a mounting body of research that demonstrates acupuncture’s effectiveness. This research has really taken off in the last couple decades and includes a large number of meta-analyses (research that collects results from many similar studies).
Some acupuncture research highlights include:
- In 2010 (and later updated in 2014 and 2017), the Australian Department of Veteran Affairs reviewed the entire available research base for acupuncture. Its analysis included more than 1,000 studies and is therefore an excellent representation of acupuncture’s efficacy as a medical treatment.
According to its analysis, the Australian VA found positive evidence of efficacy for more than 100 conditions, spread out over a dozen treatment areas. Chronic back pain, migraines, osteoarthritis, allergic rhinitis, postoperative pain and vomiting, and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
The analysis also found a potential beneficial effect for a wide range of additional conditions, including insomnia, anxiety, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, menopausal hot flashes, and a variety of post-stroke conditions.
- A 2012 meta-analysis (updated in 2015) published in the Journal of Pain looked at 39 patient trials and found that acupuncture was an effective treatment for chronic pain conditions. Also important, the meta-analysis found that pain relief via acupuncture was repeatable across time, eliminating the likelihood of a placebo effect.
- A 2022 analysis published in the British Medical Journal concluded that acupuncture was underutilized in clinical practice. Its conclusion was based on the fact that acupuncture has a proven moderate to large effect in many common health conditions, including chronic pain.
Acupuncture needles are extremely delicate – usually no wider than the width of a hair. These needles are gently inserted into the skin at designated spots. Traditional practitioners believe the body’s natural energy flows can be influenced by these needles, correcting imbalances where they emerge. Modern practitioners may augment their treatment with electrical stimulation to enhance the effects of acupuncture.
Our Primary Care Services Will Explore All Of Your Treatment Options
Whether you’re drawn to Western medicine’s analytical nature or to Eastern medicine’s wholistic approach, our practice can provide the perfect blend with our modern primary care services. Our services include mainstream Western primary care medicine along with acupuncture and other support therapies. We consider every treatment option for our patients because our goal is our patients’ overall well-being.