Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), developed over 2000 years ago, is a method of medicine that looks at the patient in a very different way from Western Medicine. Where Western medicine has developed a system of diagnosis whereby the same disease or problem is treated with a similar treatment plan for each patient, TCM examines where the patient is ôout of harmonyö and strives to treat that, so as to bring the patient back ôin harmonyö and so make them well (Shealy, 1998). An example of this is how bronchitis is treated. In Western medicine, a patient with bronchitis may be prescribed with antibiotics, while in TCM such a patient would be examined to see if they were out of harmony with the external forces (in this case, Wind or Cold), and to see what internal forces were out of sync as well (such as a Deficient Spleen or Lung) (Shealy, 1998; Health Guide A-Z, 2003). Historically, both methods of treatment have worked to cure the patient and recent findings point increasingly to TCM as a viable method of non-invasive treatment for a variety of diseases and medical problems. This paper will examine whether TCM could successfully treat the symptoms of HIV/AIDS to alleviate some of the problems faced by the patient, as well as prolong their life.
Before 1982, HIV/AIDS did not even have a name, although it had already spread to five continents and possibly infected hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Since then, although scientists and doctors have been able to gain ground in treating the symptoms, there has been little progress in discovering a cure. What has been learned is that HIV/AIDS is a virus, and like other viruses:
when it is in a cell in the body it produces new copies of itself. With these new copies, HIV can go and infect other previously healthy cells. It is easy for HIV to spread quickly through the billions of cells in the body, if it is not stopped from reproducing itself (Averting HI