Thursday, April 13, 2017

Deciding When to Use Japanese Therapies


Many Japanese people use traditional therapies alongside orthodox Western
medical treatment. Typically, the traditional therapies are preferred for chronic
ailments such as arthritis, back pain, digestive imbalance, or general malaise,
and Western medicine, as practised in state-of-the-art Japanese hospitals, is
used for acute and serious conditions such as heart attack or ulcers. However,
a cross-over also exists between the two.

When I lived and practised Asian medicine in Japan, I encountered many
patients who used Western medicine for a diagnosis and treatment and then
also visited an acupuncturist, kanpo (herbal) specialist, or shiatsu or massage
practitioner for either alternative or adjunct help. For example, people diagnosed
with high cholesterol, gallstones, or non-insulin dependent diabetes
would often have acupuncture or herbal treatment in an attempt to improve
their condition and sometimes in order to avoid medication or surgery.

In the West, the most commonly used Japanese therapies are shiatsu (mostly
for relaxation but also for pain relief and relief from common ailments),
acupuncture (for almost any kind of ailment but often for pain, menstrual
problems, digestive problems, urinary problems, and headaches), and kanpo
(again for almost any condition but often

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