The Traditional Chinese Medicine Symposium, held on June 20th, provided a platform for discussing the differences, as well as common ground, between traditional Chinese and Western medicine. The symposium was organized by Harvard Medical School’s Therapeutics Graduate Program, the Harvard Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and the School of Chinese Medicine at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU).
“With the goal of sharing ideas, developing new potential collaborations and opening unexplored lines of inquiry, researchers from HMS and HKBU gave talks and presented posters on a variety of research topics in the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center on the HMS campus.
Speakers from HKBU addressed differences between traditional Chinese and Western medicine, and areas where common ground could be found. For example, Aiping Lyu, dean of the School of Chinese Medicine at HKBU, focused on rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that physicians in the West diagnose through biomarkers and treat with drugs that modulate specific biochemical processes.
Doctors trained in traditional Chinese medicine, Lyu stated, instead diagnose their patients through qualitative aspects of the disease, such as whether the patient experiences joint pain that feels hot or cold or damp and stagnant.”