Some have claimed that ancient Chinese medicine is the precursor to modern, western medical care and the use of botanicals, which continues in Chinese herbal medicine today, was the roadmap on which all modern synthetic drugs have followed into development. While that may be a bit of a stretch even for those with a strong belief in ancient Chinese medicine, the available treatments in the fourth and fifth centuries B.C. was slim at best and non-existent in most places.
Although other cultures such as those in ancient Egypt and India used botanicals and massage therapies for healing, many look at the continued history of ancient Chinese medicine as the path that brought conventional medicine to prominence it enjoys today. Even many of the Chinese physicians are beginning to embrace western methods and synthetic drugs as a supplemental course of action for many illnesses and diseases. However, over 2,000 years ago treatments were trial and error and findings were rarely recorded resulting in many lost treatments options.
As the history of ancient Chinese medicine was recorded it evolved in to a near holistic approach to healing. Believing that every part of the body was designed to work together and in harmony with the environment, treatment methods were developed around that theory.
Everything Must Balance In The End
Many of the theories of ancient Chinese medicine evolved around the belief that all good and bad must balance out and if a person remained ill it was the result of an evil presence. Why the presence was there was subject to interpretation by the physician dealing with the patient and the development of a theory which resulted in a diagnosis. Treatment was aimed at healing the entire person instead of a specific illness, often guided by the theories developed during meetings with the patient.
It was this belief outside evils causing the illness that led many people outside of China to discount the ancient Chinese medicine practitioners and it was not until many of the older beliefs were removed from the diagnostic process that physicians, as well as other civilizations, began to understand the theories behind ancient Chinese medicine.
In some countries the use of ancient Chinese medicine in taking a holistic approach to medical care and treatment has helped reduce their dependency on synthetic drugs and their inherent side effects. In China, modern physicians are mingling conventional medical practices with ancient Chinese medicine to find new cures for many stubborn diseases.