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Topic: Living medical traditions
Living medical traditions
Medical traditions have developed in all parts of the world. In contrast to scientifically based biomedicine, which is a relatively new approach to medical practice, some medical traditions stretch back over thousands of years. Yet these traditions are not static, but constantly changing and developing, reflecting the shifting culture in which they exist. Within a community, different medical traditions coexist, interact, compete and combine. Individuals choose a practitioner for many reasons. Their choices may be guided by their personal belief systems or limited by geography or cost. Some people choose treatments from more than one medical tradition. Others visit practitioners who mix knowledge and techniques from different sources. Across the world, millions of people use these traditions. For example, 40% of people in China, a country home to nearly a quarter of the world’s population, use Traditional Chinese Medicine clinics as their first choice.
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Topic section: Ayurveda
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For its patients and practitioners, Ayurveda is more than a medical tradition – it is a way of life. Preventing illness is as important as treating it. With roots in the Indian subcontinent more than two thousand years ago, Ayurveda’s influence has since spread to many other parts of the world.  > more

Topic section: Traditional Chinese Medicine
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Balance and harmony are essential in Traditional Chinese Medicine – good health is believed to stem from the smooth flowing of the cosmic energy, qi (chi). TCM started in China more than two thousand years ago, and is now integrated into health care systems around the world.  > more

Topic section: African medical traditions
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For thousands of years, Africa’s many medical traditions have grown and changed in response to local disease and sickness. Although a diverse continent, certain elements of theory and practice are common to the many African medical traditions taking a holistic, community-led approach to medicine.  > more
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