Philosophy of The East

Durga & entourageEastern Philosophy & The Practice of Acupuncture
The practice of techniques found in the ancient medical traditions of the various cultures of China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Tibet and other places in both the near and far East are based in the philosophies of the Vedas and later Taoism as well.

Traditional Chinese medicine is based in Taoist philosophy, the most ancient philosophy of China with features similar to Vedic philosophy of India, the most ancient recorded philosophy. Both of these traditions view the Universe is a living, intelligent and harmonious whole that continually recreates itself, hence there are processes and stages of creation but there is always a single, underlying whole that cannot be divided. This ancient world view is still held by the majority of the populations of the world.

Western medicine, on the other hand is based in the Mechanistic school of thought that emerged from the Industrial Age. Here the universe was viewed as a dead, static sort of machine that is comprised of individual parts that could be separated from and dealt with without reference to the whole.  While this philosophy is history, and not embraced by any serious philosopher at this time, it was embraced by many scientists during the formative years of modern medicine. Mechanism is at the foundations of modern medicine and cannot be extracted from its practice without the entire structure crumbling.

In both philosophies, the human body is seen as a kind of microcosm of the universal macrocosm. Hence, in Western medicine’s machine-view, there is a multiplication of specialists to deal with parts and the practice of removing parts to deal with disease and injury. In Oriental medicine however, the body is dealt with as a whole, and like the universe, is respected as possessing the ability to re-create or heal itself. Acupuncture heals  by working with the life-force energy, (that which connects us to everything else in the universe) unblocking, balancing, moving, dispersing, etc. as needed and in so doing, restores the body to its state of natural function.

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