Growing Popularity of Eastern Medicine in The West

Noah Bentley

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For the last 2500 years, Eastern Medicine has been practiced freely throughout Asia and a other countries. According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, they have stated;“as of 2012, nearly 40% of Americans use Eastern medicines or therapies.”(“Alternative Medicine.”) Approaches in Eastern Medicine should be integrated into Western medical practices. They provide a cheap, affordable way to help people with stress or muscle aches. Eastern Medicine practices could evolve into an even more useful method of medication and therapy. Popular Eastern practices include acupuncture, natural herbs, chiropractic methods, and tea tree oil.

“Acupuncture is one of the main forms of treatment in traditional Chinese medicine.”(“Acupuncture Is Suitable for Treating a Wide Range of Conditions). By inserting thin, sharp needles into the body at a specific point, lots of stress could be released from the body. Research of acupuncture, according to the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, has shown that acupuncture can help with the treatment of  symptoms of depression, arthritis, and ADHD. A majority of studies published has concluded that acupuncture works. Medical practitioners have stated that the use of acupuncture causes “the body to release endorphins or natural pain killers to enter the bloodstream.”(“Acupuncture Is Suitable for Treating a Wide Range of Conditions”) As of 2008, Twenty-Three states allow medical acupuncture to be performed where osteopathic physicians can use acupuncture in surgical techniques. Through more research and time, acupuncture could evolve into an even more useful way of medication and therapy.

Natural herbs reside in cupboards throughout the world. Natural herbs can be found in forms such as tea, tinctures, or tablets. One main herb that’s useful for therapy and medical purposes is ginger. Commonly used in cooking, ginger is good for the health of people. Ginger acts as a warming agent when people have chills or are cold. Also “hot ginger root tea tastes delicious and can be taken at the onset of a sore throat, cold or when feeling tired, chilly or achy, to promote perspiration, and bring down a fever.”(“Herbal”). Cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom are also natural herbs that help with good health. Recent research has shown that these herbs work as a way of increasing energy, keeping you warm in the winter time, and helping people with seasonal affective disorder. Though some might say natural herbs don’t have as many uses if any at all, years of research and use of these herbs have proven otherwise. “Natural herbs such as ginger, clover and cinnamon are cheap to buy and could have lots of health benefits when used”(“Herbal”). The wealth of information today enables people to make informed decisions about herbal remedies.

Chiropractic methods are another form of Eastern Medicine that are starting to be practiced more. Chiropractic methods are the “practice of manipulating the vertebrae to reduce pressure on the spinal column and the nervous system”(“Alternative Medicine”). These methods are especially useful in the pain relief of the lower back. Although people might think it hurts, chiropractic methods are easy to use and will help with pain relief in the back and neck. Along with Chiropractic methods, Yoga, massage, and breathing techniques can be used to release stress and tension on the body. Yoga, the use of body position and breathing to help treat pain and to reduce blood pressure, is good to use in conjunction with Chiropractic practices to help maintain joint and muscle pain, primarily in the lower back. Breathing practices that can be used along with Chiropractic methods and yoga include meditation and aromatherapy. Meditation can help with depression, blood pressure, clearer thinking, and pain management. Aromatherapy is the inhalation of essential oils. These natural oils can also be used during massage. Aromatherapy can help with many conditions ranging from depression, stress relief, to ADHD.(“Uses”). “Tea tree oil, also known as Melaleluca alternifolis, is an essential oil that has been around for quite awhile”(“Uses). Tea tree oil is antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial, which makes it a great component for diverse uses. Many uses with a tea tree oil range from treating acne, healing sunburns, prevention of lice, and outer body fungal infections. Tea tree oil is easy to use, however should never be ingested. Other useful properties include getting rid of skin tags, soothing insect bites, and treating tapeworms. Because tea tree oil is so readily available and relatively cheap it can be used in sprays and cleaning products(“Uses of Tea Tree Oil”).

People are turning to alternative medical practices because they have a long track record and some turn to it simply because the high cost of traditional Western medical practices.  Most alternative medical practices are cheap to use and are great stress relievers and should pave the way to better health and living. After years of use, attitudes have shifted in the favor of Eastern medicine being accepted. Scientific studies have shown how practices such as massage therapy and herbal remedies are beneficial. “These studies have led an increasing number of doctors to recommend a plan of healing to their patients that involves some aspects of alternative medicine. As of 2012, dozens of medical schools, such as the Georgetown University School of Medicine, have begun offering courses in complementary and alternative therapies.”(“Alternative Medicine.”)



Works Cited

McIntyre, Anne. “Herbal Supplements Are Beneficial.” Health, edited by Auriana Ojeda, Greenhaven Press, 2004. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Accessed 18 Apr. 2017. Originally published as”Herbs—at the Forefront of Modern Medicine,” Positive Health.

“Alternative Medicine.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2015. Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Dupler, Douglas, et al. “Acupuncture Is Suitable for Treating a Wide Range of Conditions.” Alternative Therapies, edited by Sylvia Engdahl, Greenhaven Press,2012. Current Controversies. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Accessed 18 Apr. 2017. Originally published as “Acupuncture,” Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, , p. 3E.


“25 Uses for Tea Tree Oil.” Keeper of the Home. N.p., 29 May 2017. Web. 05 June 2017.