TCAS 03. The effects and prospects of the integration between Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine on Andrology in China
The 3rd Cross-Strait Andro-Urologist Symposium

TCAS 03. The effects and prospects of the integration between Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine on Andrology in China

Weiguo Ma, Jinming Jia

Department of Andrology, Guang'anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100053, China

Andrology has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine. Discussions about andropathies and documentation of relevant theraputic methods abound in ancient literature in TCM. The integrated treatment combining TCM and Western medicine has seen both broad-scoped and in-depth development and boasts a formidable status in modern day andrology in China. This paper attempts to demonstrate the unique advantage of the integrated treatment in the therapy of andropathies through a review of the ancient literature in TCM on andrology as well as exposition of the recent development in the integrative treatment of prostatic diseases, sexual dysfunctions, male infertilities, and late-onset hypogonadism. It calls for the advancement of a medical theory that integrates TCM and Western medicine practices so as to create a new therapeutic system for diseases involving male sexual health with standardized therapeutic and evaluative protocols.

Andrology in both traditional and integrated medicine has been particularly widely developed and applied in China. Andrology, as a formal field of medicine in the modern day China, started in the late 1980s, however, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and integrated medicine took an important role in the practice of Chinese andrology soon thereafter.

China's history reflects an emphasis on males in society and stresses men's sex, as well as diet, as being essential and indispensible, as depicted by the classical saying "the desire for food and sex is a part of human nature". Knowledge and therapeutic know-hows about andropathies were introduced via bamboo slips that were unearthed from Mawangtui Han's tomb, which reflects a long history of TCM in the diagnosis and treatment of andropathies. The recording of sexual techniques can be found in the He Yin Yang (Integration of Yin and Yang), the Yu Fang Mi Yao & Mi Jue (Recipe for Sexual Intercourse) and the Qian Jin Yao Fang as well as in Buddhist and Taoist documents, poems and songs. The early use of prescriptions, Qigong (a kind of exercise for keeping healthy developed in ancient China ) and therapeutic guidelines can be found in many ancient literatures.

Ancient literature in TCM mainly described sex as it pertains to subjective sensation and actual performance of the body in sexual life. Moreover, TCM summarized instructions, methods and matters to direct sexual activity, including "ten motions," "seven impairments," and "eight benefits," which assert that sexual life should be moderate, men may not marry before 30 years of age and women may not marry before 20 years of age. Even now, these theories have a basis in scientific nature.

TCM also introduces theory surrounding the retention of urine and dysuria. Additionally, TCM discussions on hematuria with turbid discharge and turbid urine have important significance for the treatment of chronic prostatitis today. Essentially, people from ancient history offered an introduction and an accumulation of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of several major diseases in andrology. This influence has practical significance for guiding diagnosis and treatment today and is also very important for the field of integrated medicine with respect to disease diagnosis, clinical trials and scientific research.

Historical practices in andrology enriche present-day therapies in the field. Integrated andrological treatment further improves and contributes to traditional treatments in the aspect of syndrome differentiation, and progress in Western medicine related to disease differentiation allows for improved clinical differentiation of andropathies that can be used more consistently in clinical practice. Modern scientific method has been especially valuable in the research of TCM treatment of male sexual health and enabled TCM to feature Chinese characteristics in a more modern, scientific and practical manner and reveals the nature of modern medicine, which integrates traditional and Western techniques.

Andrology in TCM, especially in integrated medicine, offers a unique advantage in the treatment of male sexual health.

DOI: 10.3978/j.issn.2223-4683.2012.s284

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