During the course of researching Kampo medical theory, it is very difficult to come to an accurate understanding of Kampo whilst at the same time and from the outset conducting your analysis based on the criteria of modern Western Medicine.
It is essential to ‘wipe the slate clean’, to empty your mind, in order to come to grips with this medical system. Only after achieving a certain mastery of Kampo should you then start to comment on it in comparison to modern Western Medicine.
First choose one discipline to serve as your trunk and until you are proficient in it, it is important not to move or shift your focus from one direction to another. When your trunk has established itself and towers up to the sky, the branches and leaves will develop naturally by themselves.
Ignoring accepted conventions from the very onset and creating one’s own style is the path of a genius; we ordinary folk are not up to such challenges. If you have courage and determination, you will progress and will surpass even your own teacher.
… in investigating Kampo there are those who begin with the classics, although there is nothing wrong with reading these classics last. Nevertheless, these classics are extremely difficult to understand and it is not easy to master them. So in the beginning, it is also apropriate to begin reading the works of modern writers, and little by little to trace back to the past and read the ancient texts.
Otsuka, K. Kampo: A Clinical Guide to Theory and Practice. Churchill Livingstone, 2010. p. 1-2.