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Leung 11

Traditional and Western medical traditions are similar in valuing not only curing illnesses

but also prevention. In both is an emphasis on book learning followed by practical experience

and a reliance on practitioner experience though much more so with CTM. Chinese traditional

medicine has philosophical foundations, the same way that the Western tradition has, and in fact,

the modern practice of Chinese traditional medicine has less of an infiltration of religious values

(because of communism) that has often held back the development of medicine through the

years. Though I personally believe that acupuncture is unlikely to cure serious, life-threatening

illnesses, I also believe that one’s body is one’s own, and people who wish to should be able to

be assured that acupuncture and alternative medicines are available and are regulated. There are

many stories of sudden recoveries unexplained by modern medicine. The two medicines,

traditional and modern, are in fact complementary, and are equally viable as medical alternatives

on their own. Further, traditional medicine treats the entire patient and not just symptoms, a

concept that modern Western medicine is losing in its drive to become more scientific. I believe

that there is room for improvement in both that will allow for them to coexist without

marginalizing either, regardless of culture, and medical care will only benefit from it.

Leung 11

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