How Eastern Medicine tops Western Medicine
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-04-16

Health care in South Korea and in China combines the benefits of Eastern and Western Medicine. A good part of the benefits of Eastern Medicine is in providing affordable health care – something many Filipinos urgently needs.

If you follow the health care weekly episodes on South Korea’s KBS Channel, which is available on cable television, you will be amazed at the level of sophistication they have reached in marrying the ancient wonders of Eastern Medicine with the technological advancements of Western Medicine.

Recently, there have been a lot of emails being circulated on the internet and books being published – some of them best sellers – about HEALING FOODS. To those who are adapted to Western Medicine, these healing foods are new phenomena. But to those who are familiar with Eastern Medicine – these are all old hat.

Dr. Al Stone, who was quoted in last Tuesday’s Chair Wrecker column (“Tap Eastern Medicine to improve our public health”), has a Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) from the Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Santa Monica, California. He has won international awards and established well-followed websites like,, and

Dr. Stone said that “the difference between Oriental and Western Medicine can be described as Oriental treats the Yang and Western treats the Yin. Everything in the universe can be described in terms of Yin or Yang. This is one of the underlying philosophies of Oriental Medicine. The Chinese characters for Yin and Yang mean, literally, the sunny side of the hill and the shady side of the hill. Yin is the feminine qualities in the universe, Yang is the masculine qualities.”

He illustrated this relationship between Yin and Yang with the following chart:

Yin Yang

passive active

dark light

inside outside

As applied to Western medicine

Yin Yang

Anatomy Physiology

As applied to Oriental medicine

Yin Yang

Blood Qi energy

Dr. Stone added: “When applied to medicine in general, Western Medicine acts upon the Yin of the body, the substance of the body, the actual cells and chemicals. Oriental medicine works more on the energy that animates those cells.”

Dr. Stone wrote that: “In ancient Greece, where Western civilization was born, the medicine of the day mimicked Oriental Medicine in that they looked at the body with analogies to nature in much the same way that Oriental Medicine still does. However, with the invention of the microscope and the discovery of the cell, Western Medicine became very materialistic in its approach to the human body.”

He elaborated: “When I say materialistic, I’m not talking about an unhealthy attachment to money, but the sense that only the material of the body is real, nothing else. If you can’t touch it, see it under a microscope or conceive of it in chemical equations then it doesn’t really exist. It is a discipline that is based on the philosophy that only what exists in the physical realm is real. This is materialism. In Oriental terms, this is Yin.”

Dr. Stone noted that “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia are but a few common conditions that Western medicine considers “idiopathic” which means that the cause is unknown.” However, he points out that in Chinese Medicine, “the cause is quite simply a stagnation of the flow of Qi energy due to a small variety of factors.”

“The fact is the cause is not physical. However the symptoms are. Western medicine can see and measure certain changes in the body’s chemistry and functional activities with these conditions, but cannot act upon these changes for lack of understanding of their cause. The symptoms are too divergent and unrelated from a materialistic standpoint. But when you factor in Qi energy and its properties, all these conditions make perfect sense,” He explained.

In the US, Eastern Medicine is freely and openly practiced. One would imagine that the US would have stiffer laws and regulation that would prohibit the practice of this totally different medical protocol.

Filipino doctors who have been schooled in Western Medicine in world rated Philippine universities cannot even practice as doctors in the US without taking additional US medical courses. They are welcomed there as nurses but not as doctors.

One sees the free and open practice of Eastern Medicine in the Chinatowns of US cities – and they are even attracting non-Oriental clients now. If the US authorities see it fit to allow Eastern Medicine to be practiced in the US, why should we not do the same here where our people cannot afford health care?

So, are we going to play the favorite Filipino game of hypocrisy and be more Popish than the Pope by disallowing the propagation and promotion of Eastern Medicine – by qualified practitioners – in our country?

An enabling law that will set the standards for licensing the practice of Eastern Medicine here is what our legislators should be attending to with urgency instead of pushing their self-serving version of Charter change which most Filipinos do not want and do not need.

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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