Question: How does his treatment approach differ from Western medicine?
Dr. Thomas Ruprecht: In modern Western disease theory, a distinction is made primarily between various diseases. Patients with a specific disease receive the same medicine here. In Chinese medicine, on the other hand, two patients who have the same disease from the Western point of view are treated differently by the doctor if their disharmony patterns are different. In the same way, two patients with different illnesses but identical disharmony patterns may be treated equally.
Question: Can you briefly describe the most important methods of traditional Chinese medicine?
Dr. Thomas Ruprecht: Traditional Chinese medicine makes a distinction between internal and external therapy. In external therapy, certain points or regions of the body surface are mechanically or thermally acted upon to restore balance. These therapies include, for example, acupuncture, which is now being adopted by health insurances in Germany, at least for chronic back and knee pain.
Question: And which procedures are used in internal therapy?
Dr. Thomas Ruprecht: The most important and diverse healing method of inner therapy is the Chinese herbal medicine. Mostly vegetable, but also mineral and animal substances are put together individually for the individual patient. These medicines are cooked and usually drunk as tea throughout the day. Some preparations are also available as finished medicinal concentrated in droplet form or dried as powder.
The effects of some herbal medicines have been proven in clinical trials - for example, valerian may help relax or help garlic lower blood pressure. However, natural medicines also have side effects. These can be achieved, in particular, by the fact that, in contrast to most chemically produced drugs, they contain many different active ingredients in a quantity that is not clearly defined. And even a herbal medicine can, incorrectly dosed or prepared, have unpleasant or even dangerous consequences. Therefore, it is important to adhere to the medically prescribed dosage and read the leaflet carefully.
An important role in TCM also plays the so-called dietetics. However, this has nothing to do with a fixed diet or calorie counting. From a Chinese perspective, there is no clear separation between medicine and food. For the Chinese, foods are mild therapeutics. Everything edible has a so-called qi-force, which tells us how and where the food affects humans. So the diet can affect a disturbance of Qi in the human organism and disturb or restore the harmony in the body.
Question: Finally, how do you view TCM in relation to Western medicine?
Dr. Thomas Ruprecht: In medicine, there is rarely a single method to deal with a disease, to treat it and to get well. And more and more people in this country rely on natural remedies such as Traditional Chinese Medicine. For some, the critical view is lost in the face of holistic healing promises. Conventional medicine can save lives with surgeries, supply the body with missing substances, cure illnesses - and is therefore essential and of fundamental importance.
In addition, naturopathic, gentle procedures such as traditional Chinese medicine can help. For example, they play an important role in prevention because they can strengthen the immune system and bring body, mind and soul into harmony. In my view, both can complement each other for the benefit of the patient in many ways.
Serious naturopathic offers are complementary, not a substitute for the doctor's visit. And, as before, a thorough conventional medical diagnosis should always be available at the beginning of every treatment, because in the case of serious illnesses or emergencies, complementary therapies often reach their limits.
Tips for therapist search
Dr. Thomas Ruprecht advises to make sure that the therapist ...
- His credentials can be credibly proven, for example by an additional name such as "Naturopathy" or "Homeopathy" or other diplomas.
- asks for a diagnosis already made or even creates one yourself.
- medically prescribed medications.
- Conduct a comprehensive diagnostic consultation and perform a thorough physical examination.
- Explained in detail the diagnosis and possible treatments.
- Risks and costs are open.
- Willingly responds to critical questions.
- does not promise a quick and perfect cure in chronic diseases.
- does not require all other therapies to be discontinued.