Why an Eastern Approach to Western Medicine Works Best for Aligned Care

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There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all healthcare.

Nor should there be.

You likely know from your own health journey that just because a particular treatment, drug or supplement works for one person, doesn’t mean it will work for you. And, similarly, it’s unlikely that one singular part of your healthcare routine is going to be the cure-all that sets you on the path to total health.

You know what they say—variety is the spice of life. And it’s incredibly true in healthcare.

At Align, we pride ourselves on an integrative, interdisciplinary approach where our team of like-minded practitioners collaborate to create personalized healthcare for our patients. One that empowers patients to try new disciplines and take charge of their own health.

That includes taking an Eastern-inspired approach to Western medicine—combining aspects of each practice to create a globalized healthcare approach that fits our diverse community

Eastern Vs. Western Medicine

Eastern and Western medicine differ in how illness and disease are diagnosed, treated, and prevented.

Generally speaking, Eastern medicine takes a holistic approach that looks at the entire body, spirit and mind when diagnosing and treating illness. Western medicine, on the other hand, tends to look at each system and symptom individually and leans more heavily on pharmaceuticals to treat disease and illness.

Eastern medicine includes practices like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), herbal medicine and Ayurveda, a natural form of medicine that originated in India more than 3,000 years ago.

But another key difference between the two practices is prevention.

Western medicine is almost entirely reactive, treating illness and disease aggressively when it comes on. But Eastern medicine focuses on enhancing our natural defences so diseases can be prevented.

So why not combine the best of both?

Here are a few examples of how Eastern and Western medicine can work together to deliver powerful healthcare.

Combating Seasonal Allergies

Nothing puts a damper on the warmer weather like the onset of seasonal allergies. And while the Western-style approach of using over-the-counter antihistamines and things like prescribed inhalers for those with serious symptoms is effective, there are several Eastern-inspired techniques that may help ease and even prevent allergies.

For example, a 2013 study found that regular acupuncture treatments could reduce allergy symptoms and reliance on antihistamines. Naturopathic doctors have found success in having their patients avoid inflammatory foods, like coffee and red meat, during allergy season. Some studies even suggest that taking probiotics may help relieve and possibly even prevent seasonal allergy symptoms.

Treating and Preventing Cold, Flu and COVID-19

Making sure your immune system is fully charged is a sure-fire way to avoid or lessen the impact of illnesses like cold, flu and even COVID-19. For many people, this can include rolling up your sleeve for a vaccine or flu shot. And, if you do fall ill and feel awful, there are plenty of effective over-the-counter options, like Tylenol or Advil, to help.

But there are also myriad herbal and TCM-inspired ways to supercharge your immune system. For example, TCM and naturopathic practitioners often recommend Vitamin C, Echinacea and garlic to help boost your immune system and load up on powerful antioxidants. Modalities like cupping and acupuncture are also believed to empower the immune system.

Easing Menopause Symptoms

Every woman experiences the ups and downs of menopause—unfortunately, some more than others. Some women experience hot flashes severe enough that they can only find relief in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or drugs like Paxil or Effexor, which can reduce hot-flash frequency and severity.

The TCM philosophy, on the other hand, uses the belief of yin and yang when treating symptoms like hot flashes. Since yin is associated with cool and yang with heat, women with menopausal side effects are said to be losing their yin relative to their yang. Cooling foods like watermelon, soy and honey are said to help and practices like meditation can help bring inner balance.

If you have yet to try Eastern-style practices like TCM, acupuncture or naturopathic medicine, you’ve come to the right place. Our practitioners use a globalized approach to healthcare to design a plan that is personalized to your needs.

Why not book an appointment and see how these practices complement your current healthcare routine?

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