Friday, May 26, 2006

When Western Medicine Meets Eastern Medicine

As my wonderful doctor, friend, and musical partner Deborah explores the back roads of China, she is discovering approaches to medicine that were never covered in her formal training. I just got an e-mail with the following description:

In the am R, S, and I ( and N some of the time) went to the lectures on Foot Massage and Acupuncture/ pressure, and then on Embroidery. Actually learned a lot and kind of felt by lunch time that I was at a conference. S volunteered to be the subject for acupuncture/pressure and had acupuncture just below her knee, I think for neck pain. She said it did not hurt and felt positive about the experience. R, S, and I ended our afternoon with a foot massage, we had been so impressed/intrigued with the presentation, that we decided, what the heck. I have to tell you all, I did not think it was possible to massage the feet only for 45min -- but it is--they have the foot mapped out so that there is an area on the foot to match every single body organ and they believe that they can diagnose and help heal ailments by proper massage of the foot-- if the massage hurt in a special area, then that meant that you were having a problem with that organ, and then they could tell you how to do some self massage to help. Maybe I need to learn this more and incorporate into my daily work. Well, anyway, it was very relaxing, and I have to say that my feet felt really good for some hours afterwards.

Deborah is absolutely the most caring, conscientious doctor anyone could ever ask for. For medical concerns, I don’t need a Palm Pilot – I have Deborah who tells me when it is time to get a colonoscopy, to get my next blood test, etc. But although she has never said anything disapproving of holistic approaches to medicine, she has not recommended massage, acupuncture, or meditation as a form of treatment.

That’s why I am so excited to hear about her adventure in China. Maybe more US doctors should be exposed to eastern medicine. As radically different as it is from the traditional medical practice here in the US, it has a long history of success that should not be discounted.

I miss Deborah every time I sit down to play the piano and look forward to her return, especially with this new medical knowledge. However, I can’t quite yet imagine having a foot massage and sipping herbal tea in her current Capitol Hill office!


Blogger Kate said...

Since I will start back with her as my primary care physician in about 2 weeks, I hope she does incorporate what she has learned into her practice!



4:24 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

My husband is a chiropractor in a small town who also does acupuncture and he has 2 massage therapists who do reflexology too. It's amazing what people from all walks of life are willing to try when their regular MD's can't help. These methods sure help a lot of people! Hope your friend expands her practice to include some of these!

11:23 AM  

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