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Greef, J. van der, H. van Wietmarschen, Y. Schroën, N. Babouraj and M. Trousselard. 2015. Systematic Approaches to Evaluation and Integration of Eastern and Western Medical Practices. Medical Acupuncture. 27(5):384-395.

Number of pages: 12

DOI: 10.1089/acu.2015.1123

Type of document: Journal Article

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Language of document: English

Title in English: Systematic Approaches to Evaluation and Integration of Eastern and Western Medical Practices

Abstract / summary in English:

Background: The current health care system faces increasing costs and demands while the presence of chronic conditions in the general populations is rising. A shift from disease fighting toward health promotion is needed to prevent these conditions and empower people to work on their own health. In the Military setting, health promotion is equally important. Many Veterans are returning frommissions with traumatic experiences. Therefore, in the field of mental health, it is also important to focus on building mental resilience before deployment, instead of starting treating after the damage is done. Throughout the ages, Eastern medicine systems have developed different views on health, disease, and resilience. These systems generally focus more on health promotion and strengthening the self-healing properties of the body, and are, therefore, complementary to Western medical developments. A better understanding and integration of those complementary views might reveal new avenues for treatments.

Objectives: In this chapter, Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and endobiogeny thinking are reviewed. Examples are then given of how systems biology can be applied to study Eastern medicine systems and reveal biologic information about certain diagnostic principles. These examples show how combined Western and Eastern diagnosis can be used to discover new patient subtypes. Those subtypes can then be used to study responses to medications and lifestyle interventions, leading toward personalized treatment in the future.

Results: Different studies open a field of exploration to combine systems biology into global health practice. This review shows that systems biology is successful in revealing biologic information about Eastern medicine practices.

Conclusions: This new comprehensive approach, bridging the East and the West, creates novel opportunities for Military health care systems. More targeted and personalized treatment options can be developed for Soldiers, as well as novel health-promotion strategies based on foods, herbs, acupuncture, and other modalities.


Keywords in English: Systems Biology, Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, health care system, costs, chronic conditions, health promotion, veterans, personalized treatment, foods, herbs, acupuncture
Systematic Approaches to Evaluation and Integration of Eastern and Western Medical Practices