Connecting Western and Eastern Medicine from an Energy Perspective

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Mar 26;20(6):1512. doi: 10.3390/ijms20061512.


Although Western medicine and Eastern medicine are worlds apart, there is a striking overlap in the basic principle of these types of medicine when we look at them from the perspective of energy. In both worlds, opposing forces provide the energy that flows through networks in an organism, which fuels life. In this concept, health is the ability of an organism to maintain the balance between these opposing forces, i.e., homeostasis (West) and harmony (East), which creates resilience. Moreover, strategies used to treat diseases are strikingly alike, namely adjusting the flow of energy by changing the connections in the network. The energy perspective provides a basis to integrate Eastern and Western medicine, and opens new directions for research to get the best of both worlds.

Keywords: Yin–Yang; eastern medicine; opposing forces; redox; resilience; western medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Medicine, East Asian Traditional / methods*
  • Medicine, East Asian Traditional / psychology
  • Systems Biology / methods