Even after almost 16 years of marriage, we still don’t have a Valentine’s Day tradition.

A Gina Story

Some years, we’ll go out to eat at a favorite restaurant (Cherry Street Cellar, Flyover, etc.) and some years, my husband will give me an orchid plant or a poem (he writes the best poems). The one thing I asked my husband to never buy me (he did when we were first dating) are a dozen roses, as we all know they are way overpriced on Valentine’s Day. So yes, it’s okay to buy roses any day of the year, except on Valentine’s Day…maybe that’s our tradition! 

This Valentine’s Day I can’t help pondering the forbidden romance of Western and Eastern Medicine.

So often there seems to be distain from proponents of one practice towards the other, but I am convinced a marriage of the two would produce the most beautiful medicine baby ever.

Western and Chinese Medicine look at the human body from different perspectives, and each method has distinct strengths which often compliment each other when used together.

Chinese medicine sees the human body as a cohesive energy system, a bit like an electrical system: you can’t see the electricity, but you see what it does. The goals of all Chinese medicine treatments are wholeness and balance in the body. It uses acupuncture, herbs, massage, diet, and exercise to treat and prevent illness.

Western medicine sees the body as a system of structures and chemicals. It uses many different tests to diagnose patients, and it uses drugs and surgery to treat symptoms, illness, and injuries. While the goal is to bring healing as well, it tends to focus more on the body system affected rather than the whole person.

One area Chinese medicine excels at is preventative care and chronic conditions, while Western medicine excels at emergency care.

Chinese medicine tends to be a slower healing process but has very few negative side effects (and often many side benefits!). Treatments are non-invasive.

Western medicine tends to work quickly (making it awesome for emergencies!) but sometimes has negative side effects due to strong drugs and invasive procedures.

So next time you’re in need of healing, consider exploring Traditional Chinese Medicine and Traditional Western Medicine to see what your options are.