Mind/Body Relationship in Total Healing

Author: Chun Sae-il
Pochon CHA University, Graduate School of Complementary Alternative Medicine (Seoul, Korea)
Conference/Journal: J Intl Soc Life Info Science
Date published: 2002
Other: Volume ID: 20 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 310-315 , Word Count: 376

The ultimum goal of eliminating diseases and maintaining normal health is the same in both western (modern) medicine and oriental (traditional) medicine. At the present time, western medicine tends to take a more scientific and technological approach, while oriental medicine still maintains a more humanistic approach. 5000 year old traditional medicine still challenges the 21century scientific modern medicine in the field of clinical practices. “Disease-oriented” western medicine classifies the human condition as “diseased and non-diseased” states. In the mean time, the “health-oriented” oriental medicine classifies it into “healthy and unhealthy” states. For the maintenance of normal health, five principles are emphasized. They are 1) eat right, 2) move right, 3) sleep right, 4) breathe right, and 5) mind right. To reverse an unhealthy condition back to the normal healthy state, the methods of 1) natural substance therapy, 2) exercise therapy, and 3) stimulation therapies, which include acupuncture, moxibustion, finger pressure, and cupping techniques. In order to eliminate diseases, four distinct approaches, namely 1) chemical, 2) physical, 3) psychological, and 4) surgical treatments, are utilized. There are many different kinds of traditional medicine, hidden popular folk medicine, and various less recognized techniques and theories of healing arts. Some are originated in oriental culture, while others are originated in western culture. Experts of western medicine claim that only that information clarified or proven by objective and scientific methodology can be recognized as a part of western (conventional) medicine. All other medical cares and health care modalities are collectively labelled as “alternative medicine or complementary medicine”. According to the most recent definition of health by WHO, “total health should include physical, mental, psych-social, and spiritual well-being”. Alternative medicine provides a wider range of methodologies to handle this new concept of total health. Oriental medicine and alternative medicine share a common characteristics in that they adopt a humanistic approach to care for the whole person, that is to “heal a person” and not merely to “cure an organic disease”. The mind consists of emotion, knowing, consciousness, intuition, and a soul factor, whereas the body consists of form, strength, energy field, vital force, and a genetic factor. When all ten of these mind-body factors are in harmony and balance with each other, the healing mechanism is activated to its maximal level. Accordingly, total health can be achieved only when they are in full harmony.