203147 East Meets East: Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine - A Comparison

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 9:10 AM

Sivarama Prasad Vinjamury, MD , College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Southern California University of Health Sciences, Whittier, CA
Manjusha Vinjamury, MD(Ayurveda) , American University of Complementary Medicine, La Mirada, CA
Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine are two of the oldest systems of medicine that are continuously practiced for many centuries. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) categorizes these systems as whole systems of medicine because they include complete systems of theory and practice and have evolved independently from or parallel to allopathic medicine. These systems are more rooted in the entire culture and life of the common people in these countries. It will be interesting to know if there is a common ground for these two Eastern systems of medicine. This paper is an attempt to compare and contrast the similarities and differences between these two systems. A quick overview indicates that they both adopt a holistic approach and use herbals to treat diseases. Additionally, major similarities could be identified in their philosophy with respect to their emphasis on life-force, the five elements, and qualities of nature. Herbs and food are classified by taste, element, and heating or cooling energy in both the systems. While there are many such similarities, some subtle differences could also be identified. Perhaps, these differences are more due to lack of emphasis during practice of these systems by successive generations. For example, presence of vital points, marma are described in ayurveda, they are not emphasized as much as acupuncture in Chinese medicine. Therefore, it is important to connect these two systems if possible to widen the scope of each and increase the wealth of safe and proven remedies.

Learning Objectives:
Compare ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine Identify the similarities and differences between the two systems Present a model for integration of these two systems

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Research
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.