A Comparison of Traditional (T) and Modern (M) Medicines
adapted by Riverdave from Massage Therapy, Principles and Practices by Susan Salvo

T - The body is a garden whose landscape embodies nature's primal elements of earth, water, fire, wind and space
      that are connected to all of life.
M - The body is a machine with working parts that are removable, repairable interchangeable and, in some cases, unnecessary.

T - The human body is a microcosm reflecting the macrocosm of the entire natural world.
M - Humans are autonomous in nature.

T - A holistic view is taken, addressing the body, mind and spirit as a whole.
M - A reductionist view is taken, separating and reducing matter to microscopic parts.

T - Health is based on integrity, adaptability and continuity.
M - Health is regarded as the absence of disease.

T - A functional model is used, viewing the body, mind and spirit as interacting systems.
M - A structural model is used, seeking answers from the body structures such as cells and tissues.

T - The approach is constitutional, based on the awareness, assessment and treatment of subtle energies of the body, 
dreams and animistic forces.
M - The approach is based on the body's chemical pathways.

T - The approach focuses on prevention and sustained health maintenance.
M - The approach focuses on eradicating disease.

T - Health is cultivated by a partnership between practitioner and client to improve 
ecological conditions and sustainable long term balance.
M - Outlook is a war on disease with physician as general, disease as enemy, and patient as occupied territory.

T - Goal is enhancement of the body’s self-healing capacity.
M - Goal is to eradicate symptoms and maximize performance.

T - This is a medicine by and for the people, to be learned and taught and practiced by all.
M - This approach is more specialized, technologically based, impractical and even illegal for the average person to practice.

T - Practitioners train the people to care for themselves and the patient shares responsibility for their condition.
M - Training is centered around a specific body system with intricate knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of that system. The physician is the authority and takes responsibility for the patient’s condition.

T - There is a major emphasis on diet, exercise and rest.
M - The emphasis is to return the patient to a stressful work and home environment 
as quickly as possible.

T - Natural botanical medicines are used that have little or no side effects, with dosages based on trial and error over millennia. These 
herbal remedies are sources of food-grade phytonutrients, are immune supporting, regulatory, balancing to physiological functions, cleansing 
and detoxifying.
M - Synthesized or isolated, single "active ingredient" chemical drugs are used with undesirable 
and toxic side effects. Dosages are based 
on short term statistical studies with animal testing and ethically dubious, double blind placebo clinical trials. They are inherently hepatotoxic,  immune suppressing and prone to cause physiological disequilibrium and are incapable of curing chronic and degenerative illnesses.

T - Medicine is portable and recyclable.
M - Medicine produces enormous amounts of unrecyclable toxic waste.

T - Therapeutic touch is often used.
M - Physical therapy with machines is often used.

back to:  Community Herbalism