Finding a common language AIMA 2012 Dr Lesley Braun Adjunct Snr Research Fellow Monash/Alfred Psychiatric Research centre Research Pharmacist, The Alfred Hospital Lead for the IMER group Executive Director NHAA Executive committee CITIG for COSA I N T E G R A T I V E MEDICINE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH GROUP
Finding a common language Biomedical western medicine and other medical systems have some common language but many differences Terms differ for : Diagnosis Philosophy of practice Describing treatments, their actions and outcomes
Finding a common language Examples of different ‘language’ being used Problems it has raised Some of the solutions used
At The Alfred hospital - massage or musculoskeletal therapy or myotherapy ?
Terms for herbs Common name: Bitter gourd Botanical name: Momordia charantia Actions: Anti-diabetic medicine Hypoglycemic herb
Translating herbal terms to biomedicine – please help? Astringent Antibacterial Balancing Tonic Adaptogen (assist body’s capacity to deal with stress) Warming herb Cooling herb Alterative (assists in cleansing/detoxifying) Astringent Antibiotic Restoring homeostasis? ?? Causing vasodilation? Refrigerant (if topical) ??
Finding a common language? If you don’t have the word, can you have the concept? Why don’t we have the same words?
Dictionaries – easy way to build a bridge ? ‘Bilingual’ practitioners? Multi-modal education? Specialised referral letters? Collaborative working environments?
Dr Stuart Glastonbury MBBS, BSc(med), DipWHM National Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA)
Western herbal medicine (WHM) traces back to European traditions Over time borrowed knowledge and plant medicine from other people, cultures and healing traditions Contemporary WHM now often a mixture of historical western philosophy, traditional Chinese philosophy as well as Ayurveda, Nth American practices and others
Retains some traditional roots while borrowing from numerous other traditional medical/health systems Creates a diverse and eclectic language often at times a confusing language? Move in modern times to unite under a biomedical language A move towards medicalisation of herbal medicine practice? Language creates identity
Most WHM practitioners already share what is essentially a common language Often a language of biomedical disease processes Some fully embrace this Some reject it Some sit in the middle NHAA has practitioners on all sides and in the middle!
Credibility in a western thought dominated health system? Credibility with Medical Doctors? Rational and descriptive? Clear communication with other health care providers Because this is what colleges teach now? Push for registration and recognition? Driven by CM companies agenda? Search for identity?
Do we need a common language to work together effectively? Or just common objectives?
Dr Suzanne Grant, Chinese Herbalist & Acupuncturist Post Doctoral Research Fellow, UWS
Structure Philosophy Administrative support Team resources Communication mechanisms
Should we all be speaking the language of Chinese medicine? Qi Yin & yang When qi gathers, the physical body is formed; when qi disperses, the body passes on” The basic premise of yin and yang is that the only constant factor in natural phenomena is universal change. Nothing remains the same; no disease, no condition, no emotion, no treatment or diagnosis, absolutely everything is in a constant state of flux.
1.A common language? Why? Why not? Who benefits? 2.What are the different languages and paradigms? 3.What concepts/topics do we need a common languages for? What areas are most urgent or important? 4.Is a common language possible? 5.What ideas and solutions do we have to improve communication between practitioners in a clinic, between practitioners (and patients) from different clinics, between clinics and hospitals, between countries? Focus questions