Japan has a very long and rich history, when it comes to natural health and alternative medicine. Japan, like China, uses approaches like acupuncture to treat many illnesses and complaints. There are differences between the two oriental nations regarding acupuncture. The thickness of the needles employed for one, with Chinese needles being thicker. Both understand the meridians of energy, which traverse the human body. Natural health in Japan is very much about aiding the patient’s own body in self-healing. The big difference between oriental natural health and western medicine is how their practitioners see their relationship to the healing process. Western doctors are viewed by their patients as responsible for healing them and take full credit for the process via their pharmaceutical medicines.

The Healer As Co-Pilot in the Healing Process

This is why the real power and control in western medicine sits with the pharmaceutical companies. Medicine in the west is all about capitalism and selling drugs. Natural health in Japan is rooted in the traditions and spirituality of the healer as co-pilot with the patient in the healing process. Acupuncture is a natural way to stimulate the body’s own healing abilities. Kampo is the Japanese system of herbal medicine. There is a philosophy at the heart of the kampo approach to healing via herbal medicine.

Herbal Medicine Regulated by the Japanese Government

In Japan the government controls herbal medicine via their official approval of 148 traditional formulas. Rules govern the production, sale and prescription of herbal medicines in Japan. Thus, only medical doctors can prescribe the formulas to patients. This delivers a great deal of respect to herbal medicine in this nation. This is unlike the situation in places like Australia, where the establishment is only now getting involved in the regulation of the market. Click here for more on understanding herbal medicines in Australia in the 21C.

Kampo Delivers Safe Herbal Medicines to Japanese Patients

The advantages of the Japanese system mean that the quality and safety of herbal medicines in this nation are guaranteed. Several years ago, the laws were amended to enable kampo to be sold via a special licence, this allowed traditional practitioners to sell the herbal medicines. The traditions of natural health in Japan are respected by its governing bodies. The kampo formulas have been tested via medical science to adjudge their efficacy and to affirm prescription guidelines. Natural health in Japan is alive and well in the 21C.


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