Chinese Medicine Today: Issues for Research, Education and Practice in the West

West End, Qld
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Journal Article
Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, 2013, 8 (1), pp. 28 - 34
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This article is a commentary on the modernisation of Chinese medicine and some of the issues concerning its transmission and practice in contemporary Western settings. Over the last one hundred years, complex socio-historical factors have altered Chinese medicine's traditional concepts and methods and generated misunderstandings for Western students and professionals. In the health care professions today, research and education guide best clinical practice. However, the two main branches of research into Chinese medicine - bioscientific and socio-historical - rarely assist Chinese medicine professionals with issues of clinical practice. Although historical, anthropological and textual researchers reveal sophisticated discourses built around a distinctive approach to knowing the world and the body-person, they do not normally discuss the implications of their work for clinical practice. Bioscientific researchers argue that it must be possible to utilise and test Chinese medicine from within a biomedical framework. Yet the methodological constraints required by scientific research alter Chinese medicine's traditional methods, standardise treatment protocols and remove its flexibility and responsiveness to clinical variations.
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