Current status of mind-body medicine as complementary alternative medicine in Korea

Author: Chun Sae-Il
Conference/Journal: J Intl Soc Life Info Science
Date published: 2004
Other: Volume ID: 22 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 259 , Word Count: 399

The ultimate goal of eliminating diseases and maintaining normal health is same both in western (modern) medicine and oriental medicine. At the present time, the western medicine tends to take more scientific technological approach in their practice while the oriental medicine still maintain more humanistic approach. 5000-year-old traditional medicine still challenges the 21-century scientific modern medicine in the field of clinical practices. The 'disease-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 normal healthy state, the methods of 1) natural substance therapy, 2) exercise therapy, and 3) stimulation therapies including acupuncture, moxibustion, finger pressure, and cupping techniques. In order to eliminate the diseases, four distinct approaches namely 1) chemical, 2) physical, 3) psychological, and 4) surgical treatments are utilized. There are so 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 those in formations clarified or proven by the objective and scientific methodology can be recognized as a part of western (conventional) medicine. All other medical cares and health care modalities are collectively labeled as 'alternative medicine or complementary medicine'. In United States and other European countries the alternative medicine include oriental medicine, but in far eastern region particularly in Korea, taking the dual licensing system, the oriental medicine is not included in alternative medicine. According to most recent discussions regarding the definition of health by WHO is that 'total health should include physical, mental, psych-social, and spiritual wellbeing'. Alternative medicine provides wider range of methodology to handle this new concept of total health The oriental medicine and alternative medicine share a common characteristics in that they adopt humanistic approach for the care of a whole person, that is 'heal a person ' and not merely ' cure and organic disease'. The mind consists of emotion, knowing, consciousness, intuition, and soul factor, whereas the body consists of form, strength, energy field, vital force, and genetic factor. When all these ten mind-body factors are in harmony and balance to each other, the healing mechanism is activated to its maximal level. Accordingly total health can be achieved only when they are in full harmony.