Welcome to my continuing efforts to understand Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). I have decided to take out some online payday loans over the course of my study. The extra money will help me bridge those times when I find myself totally out of any cash between paychecks and need to buy some more books and actual product as I delve more deeply into my Traditional Chinese Medicine studies. In addition I’ll be keeping this blog as I learn more about the subject, as sort of a way to work out my thoughts “on paper” as it were, and keep everything that I’ve learned in one place.

Foe awhile now I have been working with a friend in Australia on a blog about gardens that could be herbal or just ornamental. We just finished a post on the private gardens of Faye Kotsis. Faye Kotsis has a two-hectare estate in Arcadia, Australia which she opens to the public each year during the spring bloom tour put on by the Galston District Garden Club. Faye Kotsis’s grounds with a rose garden offers a lovely pond with bridges, alpacas grazing quietly, sections blooming with flowers, and figs and blueberries in a rear section. She is considering adding a section for all sorts of herbs, perhaps there will be some Chinese medicine herbs as well. Anyway, we plan on tackling Australia first, since that is where my fellow blogger lives and then move on to gardens, public or private, in Indonesia and Malaysia. I’ll keep you posted.

Now a little info about me: like many of you, I grew up with a very specific and Western idea of what medicine is and what it does. Briefly, the Western model believes in a scientific process to diagnose and treat health problems. Not a bad way to go about it, honestly — I’m largely in favor of gathering evidence and making rational decisions based on provable, reproducible facts. Although I am skeptical of a number of products from so called health food stores that are not really tightly overseen by the Drug and Food administration. Just look at some of the products out there, some even backed and promoted by medical doctors, that are really questionable. Sometimes I think money takes precedent over everything else.

On the other hand, I refuse to be solely guided by the medical profession’s dogma, instead of keeping myself open to other possibilities. Plus, I’ve seen far too much abuse and muddled thinking in the area of so-called ‘scientific medicine’ to elevate it automatically over alternative options. Certain prejudices can really influence conclusions of investigatory medical studies skewing the results. Any establishment creates its own inertia, and the more it ingratiates itself into the mainstream, the less potential it has for real innovation or even proper openness to other ideas.

That’s not to say that I place alternative medicine on a par with scientific medicine; there’s even more muddled thinking on the other side of the fence. It’s pretty heartbreaking when conventional medicine fails to help someone you love, but it’s even worse when you see someone you love become desperate enough to ignore obvious quacks and wackos.

The bottom line is that conventional medicine works more time for more people than alternative medicine — which, on the other hand, can work where conventional medicine does not. That in itself makes it worth taking a closer look, if only to ‘separate the wheat from the chaff’.

Plus, I firmly believe that Traditional Chinese Medicine begins with the proper outlook: many factors influence the individual’s health, not all of which are identifiable and reproducible through conventional Western methods.