Osteopathy’s potential in China
Making a whole country discover new perceptions of medicine, and an alternative one (without medication) is not an easy thing. It might seem even more difficult when the target of this approach is a country with a thousand-year-old culture, worshiping well-being and natural medicine, which has already developed an entire culture of traditional medicine and spread all over the world.
Even though certain branches of Chinese Traditional Medicine (CTM) became the custom, as relaxation and breath exercises and sports, other branches have more difficulties becoming part of our culture, sometimes considered as marginal, or not reliable. Here comes acupuncture and the Chinese pharmacopeia, which are not accepted by all.
The West, not considering all the forms of CTM as being justifiable or reliable, introducing our own body medicine may appear to seem impossible, because it could be potentially perceived as a copy of Chinese’s Massage, and then, illegitimate.
Osteopathy, a Western curiosity…
While the massage, following the example of physiotherapy, is going to work on the body and the muscles to calm them, Osteopathy has a different purpose. Instead of thwarting the symptoms (pain, blocking) as does the CTM, osteopathy affects directly the causes. It is not about immediate research of well-being, contrary to the massage.
Furthermore, osteopathy is not only a medicine of action and reaction. For a Chinese, it is improbable to visit a Doctor (or assimilated) when everything is going well because custom is to go there when bad has been done, sickness or hurt. The CTM can actually detect diseases and disorders before they happen, but do not prevent them. And this is where the cultural difference, this western extravagance, is felt.
…based on Chinese traditional experiences.
In spite of what we could think, at first sight, we have to admit that the Chinese culture can find numerous common bases with Osteopathy.
First of all, this is alternative medicine and focalized on the body, basing itself on central points of the body, comparable to the vital points which regulate the “Qi”, the vital and spiritual energy of the CTM. The relationship between the Doctor and the patient, due to this special approach of the body, will be more intimate and personal.
Osteopathy is, following the example of acupuncture, a will of balance (such as the Yin and the Yang) between pain and happiness: a potentially painful practice to chase away the pain and be able to enjoy well-being. Some branches of osteopathy, such as Biokinergy, push the link to CTM even further by being a real by-product of Chinese Acupuncture, the doctor replacing the needles with his own fingers, easing the unpleasant experience.
Osteopathy possesses a big potential for intrigue in China. The use of Chinese bases, mixed with the culture and the western experience will know how to instigate the curiosity of the young people (intended to be more and more numerous with the softening of the one-child policy) while reassuring the older and more traditionalist people on its benefits.