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Even from the scanty evidence in the scriptural texts still left for posterity, it is easy to infer that valuable information about the advancement of science and technology in ancient days has been lost.
The arrows which got stuck to the body had to be removed carefully and gushing of blood stopped. The Brahmastra aimed by Indrajit immobilised the entire monkey legion and also Sri Rama and Lakshmana but the medicines brought by Hanuman worked wonders and all of them were ready again to attack the Ravana warriors.
There were immediate cures for gashes and grievous injury as also treatment for fractures and dislocations.
The combat also proved the futility of human beinga€™s endeavour to subvert the arrangements made by God. Ravana least expected that the monkeys could face leaders on his side like Kumbakarna and Indrajit.
Subramania Somayajulu said that no one who followed the path of Righteousness would be let down by the Supreme Being.
WESTERN MEDICINE Francis Piron, Nanyang Technological University Chan Wai Ching, Nanyang Technological University Esme Cheong Ai Peng, Nanyang Technological University Ho Lee Ching, Nanyang Technological University TCM has existed for more than two thousand years, and forms a natural part of the Chinese cultural mosaic. Occasions demanded, particularly during wars, that wounded soldiers should be attended to and sent to field service back within a few hours to overcome manpower shortage.
People who fell unconscious were brought back to normalcy by making them inhale a special type of herb. As his plans failed and death stared at him he was reminded about the curse incurred by him for his misconduct.
This was proved by Lakshmana who released an arrow, swearing in the name of lord Rama that should He really be the replica of Dharma, the foe should be vanquished. That's why we offer typical health care checkups, advanced treatments, vaccinations health packs. Chinese commonly use medical ingredients to brew tonics, and herbal soups and cooling teas as part of a healthy diet. The battle between Sri Rama and Ravana in the Ramayana gives scope to reflect on the genius of our forbears and the efficacy of Ayurveda.
However, when Western medicine is available, as it is in Singapore where consumers are better educated, patients also seek medical help from Western healthcare (1996 Report by the Committe of Traditional TCM) as it is deemed more reliable and safer and is regulated by the government.
Hence, Western medicine is often recognized as the dominant form of health practice in Singapore. In China and Japan, the use of traditional Chinese herbal medicines is studied for therapeutic values in the treatment of chronic hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, eczema, AIDS and certain cancers.
Traditional medical halls and supermarkets offer pre-packed, ready-to-use mixtures of herbs with Chinese and English instructions, soups and jelly in foodcourts or shopping centers, and advertise on the Internet.
This departs from the traditional retailing of Chinese medical ingredients to delivering ready-to-consume products. Medical halls have also adopted modern retailing methods in terms of layouts, displays of products, payment methods (use of debit and credit cards), availability of gift vouchers and membership cards (Straits Times, 14 April, 1998). Some medical halls have even set up web pages to keep up with society’s information needs. With a unique mixture of oriental and occidental cultures, Singapore, where this study took place, has well-established systems of Eastern and Western healthcare. For traditional Chinese: their world view conceived a harmonious co-operation of all matters in the universe, arising form the fact that they were all parts of a hierarchy of wholes forming a cosmic and organic pattern and obeying the internal dictates of their own nature. As any other entity in the whole universe, man is ruled by a macrocosmic combinations of Yin and Yang (Table 1).
The Yin and Yang merge to produce the five elements (wuxing) which diffuse in harmony, and the four seasons proceed. 17) Yin and Yang continually ebb and flow: Health, tranquillity and well-being depend on their harmonious equilibrium. Hence, the chief cause of all diseases is a disequilibrium or an imbalance of Yin and Yang, creating illnesses or in extreme cases, death.


The TCM physician treats the entire person, using both physical and mental aspects to cure illnesses. These principles are based on the Huangdi Neijing (the Yellow Emperor’s manual), the Shanghanlun (Treatise of Febrile Diseases) of Zhang Ji (AD 150 to 219), the Maijing of Wang Shuhe (AD265 to 317) and the Great Pharmacopoeia in the 16th century (Ho and Lisowski 1993). Coincidentally, the English word " dis-ease" is a perfect translation of this definition, coinciding with the modern Western knowledge of ensuring good health only through the easing of all bodily functions.
Taoists should not over-exert the body or destabilize the jing, the essential material for survival, and should keep their mind tranquil. Healing is done by natural stimulation of the body’s own ability to return to good health.
Acupuncture, one of the earliest forms of medicine, has existed for more than 5000 years and views the body as consisting of a life force flowing through a network of meridians, in addition to the nervous system. Ill health affects the life flow and is treated by inserting a sterilized fine needle at certain points of the meridian network to restore the energy flow in the body.
Highly specialized and patient-specific, it is a popular alternative medicine in the Western world: An estimated 3000 American physicians incorporate acupuncture into their practices. Herbal cures use dried rather than chemically processed herbs to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment and harmonize side effects. Herbal medicine relies on the belief that the natural minerals of plants offset health defects. A person suffering from humidity or rain-based arthritis may consider herbal treatment from herbs with the energy required to prevent the invasion of cold and damp air. For instance The sea vine, a seaside plant with energy in its bark to keep free from the constant attack of cold, damp air would then do well. Although Western medicine is the dominant form of treatment (Lee and Cheung 1988), multiple health care traditions exist in most modern societies (Hogg, Mitchell and Chung 1997). Forty five per cent of Singaporeans had never consulted TCM practitioners while 19% had consulted one within the last year (Report by the Committee of TCM 1996).
The Chinese approach is based on a philosophic-scientific approach as compared to the Western’s cause-and-effect approach (Table 2).
The latter views all phenomena as cause-effect sequences where theories "sum up the phenomena and formulate a logical explanation to explain the relationship and nature between entities" (Lee 1996, p.12). Western medicine relies on rigorous scientific studies and research that seek empirical proof to all phenomena. TCM is based on the "three forces" (sancai) and good health is maintained only when man maintains good relationship with heaven and earth, balancing yin and yang. Hence, the Chinese approach is holistic whereas the Western rationale is scientific and theory-based. In contrast, traditional TCM regards illnesses as a disharmony in the sancai, imbalances in the yin and yang.
Thus, the sickness can have both external (the environment) and internal (body, mind and spirit) causes (Kim 1998). These are good reasons for consumer researchers to understand both medical systems and the consumers’ perceptions of each system. To that effect, this study is designed to assess consumers’ perceptions of Chinese and Western medicine. In spite of the research above, there is still little scholarly, seminal evidence on which to frame the hypotheses of interest to this study. Therefore, the following hypotheses are formulated from conversations with experts, casual observation of society and of shoppers visiting TCM halls, and from feedback gathered from a preliminary study. It follows that consumers who were educated in a Chinese environment may associate more deeply with expressions of Chinese culture, such as medicine. Most of the information relevant to this study came from business publications, such as The Economist (Nov. In addition, knowledge was gained from dialogs with TCM experts, such as medical halls’ shopkeepers, covering their perceptions and consumption of TCM.


From these preliminary steps, nine attributes affecting the perception of TCM were derived and used in a pilot questionnaire administered to 15 respondents.
Minor changes were made in response to comments made by the respondents prior to finalizing the questionaire.
Five of the nine factors were retained: accessibility, safety, reliability, family influence and effectiveness Primary Data Collection The questionnaire comprises four sections.
The first focuses on respondents’ perception and consumption of TCM, and on the 5 factors affecting the choice of medicine.
The second section deals with the use of TCM for different ailments (e,g., headache, heart and kidney ailments). For each ailment, respondents ranked the medications for each attribute’s perceived importance on five-point bipolar scales.
Independent sample t-tests compared differences in the means of the independent variables (e.g.
Of the four types of TCM preparations, Western pharmacy consumers prefer that which is commercially prepared and sold in shops, while TCM halls consumers prefer the self-prepared preparations from animal sources.
The other two types are self-prepared preparations from plant sources and special preparations from TCM physicians. Over half (55%) of the TCM respondents and one third (38.3 %) of the Western pharmacy consmers were cognizant of the dietetic restraints. However, for anaemia and asthma, each group of consumers stuck to its own form of medicine as favorite treatment.
The second hypothesis proposes a relationship between language stream of education and perception of TCM physicians. Neither sample of consumers perceived significant (a=.05) overall differences between the medications making up each pair of stimuli. Only Chinese characters are used to describe the medications and ingredients, and dried plants and animal parts or bodies are displayed in glass jars along with posters showing stereotypical older Chinese sages sipping steaming cups of herbal teas. Western pharmacies are plainer and, while displaying bilingual posters on occasion, appear void of Chinese cultural displays. This may explain why those consumers who are more grounded in Chinese culture evaluate TCM practitioners more favorably: they offer a more comfortable, reassuring, familiar environment.
Also, older consumers may be less fluent in English than their younger, English-educated neighbors who may then be undergoing progressive acculturation. In addition, a traditional Chinese cultural characteristic, the importance of the family in decision-making is recognized by both samples throughout the survey.
It may then be that TCM consumers are willing to switch to Western medication, and conversely for Western pharmacy consumers, when deemed appropriate. This issue had not been considered in the present study and may need to be in future research. However, it seems that Western pharmacy consumers are more concerned with issues of reliability and safety in medication, issues that are clearly attached to science.
It may then be that to those consumers, some aspects of TCM may be perceived as less scientifically tested than Western medications. It would be interesting to learn consumers’ perceptions of both medical systems for more serious, or even life-threatening, ailments. Chung, "Consumer Behavior and Non-Conventional Choice," Working Paper, Association for Consumer Research, 1997.



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