GreatWall International Cancer Center
Integrative Chinese and Western Medicine
Integrative Chinese and Western Medicine (ICWM) was one of the great achievements of the
Chinese health care and hygiene system in the fifties of the 20th century. To combine the
knowledge of Chinese medicine (CM) with that of Western Medicine (WM), mutually adopt their
advantages and offset their shortcomings, develop new medical models; and to elevate clinical
efficacy, renovate the medical theory, enhance the culture of Chinese traditional medicine, to
enrich world medicine and benefit all of mankind are the aims of ICWM.
The diagnostic and treating mode and methodology for the integration of disease
differentiation in WM and syndrome differentiation in CM. Owing to the integration of disease
with syndrome, the macrocosmic with microcosmic, the structure with function, the disease-
syndrome diagnosis as well as standardization and as the moving and resting integration in
bone fracture, non-surgical treatment for some acute abdomens, comprehensive treatment of
multiple organic failure, activating blood circulation to remove stasis herbs in treating cardio-
/cerebrovascular diseases, and malignant tumor, immune diseases, infectious diseases, skin
diseases, as well as the principle of acupunctural analgesics, research on visceral organs’
essence, etc. Much progress has been made, especially
In the field of ICWM clinical practice and modern R & D, some essential principles should be
followed, generally speaking, the following aspects could be taken for reference;
The principle of inheriting with mutual complementation: The development of science and
technology has some inheritage, traditional medicine has numerous essence; modern
medicine changes day after day, and ICWM should be under the guidance of learnt,
understood, developed and created principle, in order to adopt the essence and discard the
dregs, to use its advantages and offset its shortcomings; to develop its merits and avoid its
weakness, mutual complementing and developing as a whole.
Applying modern theory and methodology, combined with the philosophy of CM, lay emphasis
on the syndrome differentiation and treat according to the individualized principle: Much of the
CM experiences accumulation belongs to the private long-term build-up, which is a mixture of
science and art, particularly in treating the dynamic change of each individual patient. This
kind of experience should not be neglected. In use this kind of experience, to inspire one’s
thinking, one may become the spring of creation.
Respect the traditional thinking principle: Pay attention o classic theory, and ancient and
modern medical cases. Classical theory is the sublimation of clinical experience, medical cases
and medical talks are the records of successes and failures of past generations, and the living
The principle of combining with evidence based medicine(EBM). EBM advocates elevating the
empirical medicine of applying personal experience to make medical decision, to include the
conclusion of scientific study and bring about the medical decision. Combining these, would
boost the clinical level of CM.
The principle of facing modernization and facing the world: Numerous factors influence the
efficacy of Chinese herbs: the species, the place of production, collection time, the portion
used for medication, the processing, the preparation technique and technology, the quality
control and others factors. It needs standardization to adapt to the demand of modernization,
this is a systematic engineering. Non-drug therapy should not be excepted. Therefore ICWM
should stress the perspective of scientific design.
1. Seeking for knowledge-learning and understanding:
Both Western doctors learning CM and school originated Chinese doctors, who learn
traditional cultural knowledge of CM and should have the Chinese national spirit, persistently
cherish, and are determined to develop it. Such a spirit is a powerful force, and a pillar, which
is precious. First of all, one should learn. In the past, the demand to those Western doctors to
learn CM was: “To learn CM systematically, master it as a whole, systematize and elevate it”.
The knowledge system of CM and WM is obviously different. In knowledge of CM, the content
of humanities evidently is more, e.g. ,the cognition of “Qi” is lacking in WM, “First impression
governs” should not be taken, and learning first should be encouraged, and then take the
essence and discard the dregs, no misunderstandings, no misinterpretation. At the same time,
one should elevate the level of modern medicine, add innovation to one’s knowledge. Only
when both the two medicines are regarded at a high level can new achievements of ICWM be
2. Seeking for common-for combination point:
The knowledge of CM and WM are different, but sometimes there is commonality. The
integrative thinking of “macrocosmally guiding and microcosmally interfering” should be
practiced, e.g., to traditional blood stasis syndrome, hemorrheology might be used to elucidate
the mechanism and explore for diagnosis and treatment.
3. Seeking for difference-for the intersecting point:
For example, the treating principle of “moving and resting integration, lay emphasis both on the
muscle-tendon and bone” of fracture and so on is different. Exploring from this aspect, the
style is different, the content is so numerous. This is why on our knowledge innovation of either
CM or WM, on discovery of new therapies, the cognition might be deepened, mutual
supplemented and integrated, different points might be where the scientific bright focus located.
4. Seeking for truth---modernization and science forming:
For instance, the evaluation of efficacy should seek truth from facts, should stand up to current
international criteria. The knowledge of CM has its own characteristics, and one should stress
the cognition of syndrome and its quantification assessment to obtain the ICWM, overall,
objective achievement and experience.
Seeking for new---creation is the aim:
The modern interpretation of the compatibility and composition of compound prescription, the
modern explanation for pathogenesis and the essence of CM syndrome, the reform of the
dosage form for popular, effective, convenient and cheap Chinese herbal medicine, to explore
pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of active principle or effective components of CM,
the scientific principle of Chinese herbs “property-taste” theory, etc. The ICWM of the
knowledge and integration with other disciplines, all of them are the response to the challenges
by ICWM, which is the starting point of marching to the world.
“To lay equal emphasis on CM and WM”, “To implement the modernization of CM” and “To
promote the integrative CM and WM”, which are mutual complementary to each other, and
should not be taken out of context and each takes as he needs, the three sentences
summarized the current policy in developing CM. ICWM is the objective paradigm for the co-
existence of CM and modern medicine. It is the scientific development and advancement
towards an inexorable trends of crossing and comprehension, systematization,
internationalization and pluralization. The ICWM mode of medical care is the medical practice
currently adopted on a large scale in China.
Last Updated ( Monday, 04 February 2008 21:36 )