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Chiropractic Journal of Australia : CJA March 2013
Chiropractic Journal of Australia Volume 43 Number 1 March 2013 23 fundamental imperative of all, seeing total inclusiveness as the essential reality. Major differences are also illustrated in the contrasting semantics and metaphors used in each model. Western medicine is frequently spoken of in military terms. Its sciences, technologies and procedures seek to dominate natural processes, so much that treating disease is often seen as 'war', and can therefore be expressed in military metaphors. We frequently hear of 'the war on cancer,' or that someone lost their battle against cancer, in spite of everything in the 'therapeutic armamentarium' having been tried.51 Medicine has been defned as, ‘the management and care of a patient for the purpose of combating disease or disorder.' (italics added), and an editor of the British Medical Journal has grimly described medicine’s activities as ‘… an unwinnable battle against death, pain and sickness. '52,53 , Normal immune system function would be described as 'The Body At War.'54 In contrast, the Eastern way warns against the use of force: 'Those who try to control, who use force to protect their power, go against the direction of the Tao. … The Tao nourishes not by forcing. By not dominating, the Master leads.'55 It speaks gently of nature, and its metaphors are of nature - fre, earth, metal, water, wood, heat, cold and wind. Its subjects and objects do not oppose each other. Rather, they are inter-related parts of one greater whole. There is no civil war, and its answers come not from opposition, but from interaction. According to Palmer, chiropractic also is in this peace movement. 'Chiropractors do not combat disease. We do not look upon it as an enemy that must be fought, conquered and vanquished.'56 From the dominance and war thinking of Western medicine stems another major difference between the two models. War often involves collateral damage, destruction and death, even often to those not participating in the fghting. Somewhat similarly, in medicine, iatrogenesis is a not uncommon result of the activities of the Western medical model and activities based on it.57-60 As one example, a study of adverse reactions to prescription drugs in one country alone found that, on average, 586,922 children are taken to a medical doctor or a hospital emergency department per annum as a result of such reactions to properly prescribed drugs administered on an outpatient basis.61 In stark contrast, a systematic review of eight data bases, going back 105 years, found only fourteen cases of direct adverse events associated with 'spinal manipulation' of children worldwide.62 CONCLUSION The Western and Eastern philosophical models of health are remarkably different. As a result, the activities that stem from each are also very different. The Western model is based on reductionism, materialism, mechanism and the strong belief that true and useful knowledge is obtained by science. In essence, its activities involve the doctor acting as a mechanic and prescribing drugs or applying surgery to ‘fx’ the patient. In contrast, the traditional Eastern model is based on a broad wholism that implicitly involves understanding the person as an integral part of the natural and supernatural universe. She is metaphorically viewed as part of the universal garden, and loss of health understood as the result of improper tending to that garden, best dealt with mainly by returning to the correct way of doing that. The contemporary relevance of this model is undeniable. In her November 7, 2008 address to the World Health Organisation Congress on Traditional Medicine in Beijing, World Health Organisation Director- General Dr Margaret Chan stated that: 'Public health owes the notion that prevention is better than cure to China and the Huangdi Neijing, the most important book of ancient Chinese medicine. During its 3,000-year history, traditional Chinese medicine pioneered interventions such as diet, exercise, and awareness of environmental infuences on health, … as part of a holistic approach to health. Other ancient medical systems in other countries, such as Ayurveda in India, offer similar approaches to health. These are historical assets that have become all the more relevant given the three main ills of life in the 21st century: the globalization of unhealthy lifestyles, rapid unplanned urbanization, and demographic ageing. These are global trends with global consequences for health, most notably seen in the universal rise of chronic noncommunicable diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and mental disorders.'63 Like the philosophical model of traditional chiropractic, these models are not new, but have their foundations in ancient societies and philosophical interpretations. The Eastern model in particular shares many commonalities with that of chiropractic. The benefts of the Western model cannot be ignored or dismissed. However, given the crisis in its application, particularly in terms of cost, iatrogenesis, and lack of effcacy in addressing current epidemics of chronic diseases caused by poor lifestyle choices, it would seem that careful consideration of the greater application of the Eastern model, or Western understandings of it, would be a wise way.64-66 REFERENCES 1. Rosen S. Plato's symposium, 2nd ed. New Haven (CT): Yale University Press; 1987. p. xxxi. 2. Rand A. Philosophy: Who needs it? New York: Signet; 1984. p. 5. 3. Nietszche F. Beyond good and evil. Prelude to a philosophy of the future. New York: Vintage Books; 1989. p. 113-5. 4. Delbridge A. The Macquarie Dictionary. Second Edition. Macquarie University, NSW Australia: The Macquarie Library, 1991:1142. 5. Vesey G, Foulkes P. Collins dictionary of philosophy. London: Collins; 1990. p. 222. 6. Rosen S.1. p. xlviii 7. Palmer DD. The science, art and philosophy of chiropractic. Portland (OR): Portland Printing House Company; 1910. p. 11-2. 8. Cohen SM, Curd P, Reeve CDC, editors. Readings in ancient Greek philosophy. 3rd ed. Indianapolis (IN): Hackett Publishing Company, 9. Cohen SM, Curd P, Reeve CDC.8 p. 25, 28-32. Inc.; 2005. p. 1 10. Cohen SM, Curd P, Reeve CDC.8 p. 37-41. 11. The Oxford dictionary of classical myth and religion. Oxford: OUP; 2003. p. 273. 12. Price S, Kearns K.11 p. 62-4. 13. Palmer DD, Palmer BJ. The science of chiropractic. Davenport (IA): The Palmer School of Chiropractic; 1906. p. 9. MECHANIC OR GARDENER RICHARDS
CJA December 2012
CJA June 2013