Why Integrated Medicine?
The ever-increasing power of modern medicine and its solid scientific foundation have made it the de facto standard in healthcare worldwide. Nevertheless, modern medicine still has its limitations. Doctors may encounter situations in which treatment options are exhausted, available cures are inapplicable to a particular patient due to severe adverse side effects, patients are simply leery of massive drug or surgical interventions, or the overall cost is prohibitively high. Neurology, a branch of modern medicine dealing with disorders of the nervous system, is faced with some unique challenges in making a diagnosis, assessing the severity of the symptoms, and searching for a treatment.
In contrast, acupuncture is generally considered safe and has almost no undesirable side effects, due to its minimally invasive nature. Also, studies have shown that acupuncture treatment can be more cost–effective overall than conventional care for some conditions. This healing modality has been in existence for thousands of years, and widely used in China and many other countries. However, there has been some controversy and skepticism about acupuncture, largely because its theory is not easily incorporated into the conceptual framework of modern medicine.
We understand that more work needs to be done on acupuncture, but we consider it extreme to reject outright a technique that has been time–tested and has gained broad acceptance. Our approach is to continue to work on the scientific basis of this ancient modality and, at the same time, integrate the proven components of acupuncture into our neurology practice in a creative way. This allows us to take advantage of the best of the available treatment methods, Occidental and Oriental, ancient and modern. Furthermore, it gives us an option to address some of the serious and immediate challenges to the conventional methodology of patient care.
We believe our clinic is in a unique and superior position to implement this integrated strategy. First, we have strong expertise in both Western and Eastern medicines. Second, there is a natural connection between neurology and acupuncture, since elements of the nervous system parallel some meridians and acupuncture points. Dr. Zhao’s over fifteen years’ experience in neurology, neuro–anatomy, neuro–pathophysiology, and acupuncture helps produce several advantages in patient care, such as faster diagnosis of the patient’s symptoms, better assessment of their severity, broader coverage in patient education, optimization of the treatment plan, etc. outcomes at our clinic have demonstrated that the approach of combining modern medicine with acupuncture is much more powerful and effective than applying either of them individually.