Integrative Medicine – The Polemics Between Chinese And Western Medical Methodologies 中西医结合- 医学方法导论

Delivered at the 8th World Congress of Chinese Medicine, 2-3 September 2011, London, United Kingdom 第八届世界中医药大会 2011年9月2日,英国伦敦


The debate between Chinese holistic system of medicine and Western symptomatic based medicine is becoming increasingly significant with the rise of China as economic power in the process of globalisation where the Eastern civilisation and the Western civilisation are converging. Medical thinking and clinical methodology represent the intellectual polarity between East and West. The differences are both philosophical and scientific in nature. In order to promote convergence rather than divergence we must integrate the two systems of medicine through dialogue and debates. Chinese Medicine, being a unique system of medicine, is well considered to have the clinical experience as well as the theoretical principles to synergise with the Western Evidence Based medicine (EBM). The polemics between the two medical methodologies involve not only clinical and intellectual pursuits but also economic interests. The purpose of this paper is to identify the issues and to seek integration in order to bring both systems of medicine into a new frontier of knowledge that will transform the medicine of the future and serve the patients better. A new patient-centred medicine should be one of the ultimate aims of any new system of medicine, whether it is integrative or otherwise.

The paper will go into the philosophical concepts of Qi, Yin & Yang and Syndrome Differentiation in Chinese Medicine, and will compare them with Western medicine and disease-based evidence and outcome evaluation using RCT. The regulative approach to health and the treatment of disease will be compared with the Western approach of clinical intervention. The paper will also go into analysing evidence using measurements according to Newtonian empiricism against the anecdotal evidence of the patients as well as the issues related to placebo. The intellectual advancement of new physics in relation to the theoretical principles of Chinese Medicine will also be discussed in the context of the modernisation of Chinese medical methodology. The globalisation of Chinese medicine can only be possible when this unique system is understood by practitioners of Western medicine in their language of science without losing the traditional essence of Syndrome Differentiation. This is the major challenge for Chinese Medicine – to maintain its position as a key component in the emergence of the 21st Century new medicine.

Chinese Medicine, Western Medicine, holistic medicine, integrative medicine, Evidence-Based Medicine, new physics, Yin and Yang, Syndrome Differentiation, dialectical differentiation


随着中国作为经济强国在东西方文明交汇中的高速发展,关于中医整体医学和西方循证医学之间的争议也越来越意义重大。医学的思考和临床方法论将代表东 西方的知识产权极性,事实上这种认识的差异也涉及到了哲学和科学。为了促进相互融合减少分歧,必须通过沟通和讨论的方式来让这两个医学体系更好的结合。作 为一种独特的医疗体系,中医药有着非常资深的临床经验和理论基础来协同西方循证医学。这两种医学方法论的争议不仅关系到临床和知识产权,也牵涉到了经济利 益。本文的目的在于找出这两种医学体系的差异并寻求整合,以进入一个创新的知识领域来完善未来医学并更好的服务患者。不论是结合医学或者其他,都应该把以 人为本作为最终目标。

本文将讨论在中医学里气、阴、阳以及辩证论证的哲学思想,并与西医以病症为基础的证据以及随机对照试验结果相对比。同时,对健康的调节方式和对疾病的治疗 方式也将和西方的临床干预治疗方式相比较。本文还将牛顿的经验主义对照了某些典型的病人自述病例,以及安慰剂的相关问题进行分析,并在当前中医方法论的背 景下进一步探讨了新物理学的发展对中医的影响。中医药全球化能实现的唯一可能就是这个独特的系统被西方医药从业人员通过他们的学科语言来认识了解同时不丢 失辩证论治的传统精华。对中医药来说,在21世纪的新医学里能占有一席之地并保持一个比较重要的位置这是它将面临的主要挑战。

Chinese Medicine(中医药), Western Medicine(西医药), holistic medicine(整体医学), integrative medicine(结合医学), Evidence-Based Medicine(循证医学), new physics(新物理学), Yin and Yang(阴阳), Syndrome Differentiation(辨证论治), dialectical differentiation (辩证分化)。