Upon my return from Japan in 1993, after spending 7 years there while studying Chinese Medicine and specialising in the “Comori” clinic, I noticed the major differences of working methods between Israel and Japan. At first I assumed those differences are due to the studies level which are not as high as in Japan and that I thought was due to the fact that the Chinese Medicine studies here were just getting started. But as I got to know practitioners in Israel I realised that was not the case. I realised the studies level here are as good as in Japan, and eventually all the practitioners study the same book - the Nei Jing. So then where does it come from - the obvious difference between practicing Chinese medicine in Japan and in Israel?
The major difference, in my opinion, is the fact that the practice of Chinese Medicine is not organized ( and thanks to all of you who are working at this aim). The fact of the matter is that students of Chinese medicine have no substantial inten path, one that enables them to achieve experience by practicing Chinese medicine under the supervision of an experienced practitioner (for at least 2-3 years). In Japan, throughout the studying years it is required that the student become an apprentice of an experienced practitioner in the clinic. The practitioner is licensed by the government.
While being an apprentice the student is exposed to the way the practitioner is thinking and what treatment strategy he chooses, and how he presents it to the patient.
I did my apprentice at the Comori clinic, where I was fortunate to be exposed to its unique working technique of which I established principle guidelines to the way I work today. I learned how to match the nature of the Chinese Medicine practice to the expectations of the patient and the western medicine system.
The success of the treatment is based on the symbiotic connection between how I explain the problem to the patient and the clinical treatment I choose to take. There is a significant importance to the way I convey Chinese medicine to the patient. When a physical problem arises the western patient turns to the medical facilities to seek help. And they do help him in the short immediate term (a pill for the headache). The practicing of Chinese medicine should recognize the needs of the patient and address them. I do it by explaining the process and stating the physiological consequences in each and every step. for instance - When hypertension is the complaint I explain that very much like western medicine the solution is diluting the blood. I do it by promoting the function of processing the blood - the liver and the kidneys. So initially I expect to see reduced fluids (improvement in edema) which will demonstrate progress. The practical treatment is not being held in a void. It has to be done according to an organized treatment strategy, while keeping in mind the function of as many organs as possible, and while using the different techniques. The best treatment must consist of a holistic treatment including nutrition, herbs and clinical treatment (Moxa, acupuncture and different massages).
I as everyone is anxiously waiting for the day where Chinese medicine will receive its proper place as part of the public health system where each and every citizen in Israel is entitled to.
However while the public health system may be ready to accept us, it still confines us to the role of complementary medicine - which I think is missing the uniqueness of Chinese medicine on all its diversities. The role of Chinese medicine in the health system in Israel should derive from its ability to diagnose problem arising from bad lifestyle before they are diagnosed in standard parameters of western medicine. For example Chinese medicine is able to detect fatty liver even before the cholesterol levels go up in the blood tests.
Reducing to the role designed by the health system is debilitating and won’t allow us to offer all the qualities and abilities of chinese medicine to the public and will initiate our position as complementary medicine. And most of all - it distorts our role as practitioners.
Translated to English by Roni Kalir
Congress Lecture: Metabolic Disorders: The Route of all Diseases - Wednesday, 6.4.2016, 15:00-19:00
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