While Western doctors look for disease mechanisms which are the same from person to person, Chinese doctors look for overall patterns of disharmony which are unique to each individual. Ted Kaptchuk, who studied medicine in China, originally intended to translate Chinese medical texts into English, but quickly realized that it would take more than simple translation to convey the meaning of a diagnosis like "damp heat affecting the spleen." Instead, in The Web That Has No Weaver
, he explains the theory and philosophy of Chinese medicine, as well as methods of diagnosis and treatment in terms that can be understood by a Western reader. For anyone interested in studying this ancient system of medicine, this book should be at the top of your list. -- From The WomanSource Catalog & Review: Tools for Connecting the Community for Women; review by FGP
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The Chinese emphasis on interconnectedness and change takes on a very specific character in the context of medicine. When the Chinese physician examines a patient, he or she plans to look at many signs and symptoms and to make of them a diagnosis, to see in them a pattern. Each sign means nothing by itself and acquires meaning only in its relationship to the patient's other signs. What it means in one context is not necessarily what it means in another context.