Modern biomedicine and traditional Chinese medicine are two discrete systems of theory and practice that have complementary strengths and weaknesses. (…) If something helps the patient, it should be used.
Although Chinese medicine has developed considerably in its history, this progress is a long spiral that moves forever around its point of origin, the ancient texts. Since this point of origin is assumed to contain the seed of everything that can be known, all development is a form of slow exegesis within a broad conceptual framework. The ancient books are the language of Chinese medicine, and while the vocabulary can de expanded and enriched, the grammar and syntax are fixed.
Western thought, at its most noble and honest, is nourished by the constant tension between unknown and known, imperfect and perfect. Western humanity is quickened by a metaphysical dilemma — on the one hand, it was created in the image of the Almighty, and on the other, it was created from dust.
For all its misuses, the idea of progress implies that not everything has been achieved, that more has yet to come. In order to remain scientific, medicine must believe that what it discovers, yet tomorrow may undermine and revolutionize everything it believes today. Western science, in its idealized paradigm, unlike traditional Chinese thought, is necessarily receptive to the new.
Kaptchuk, Ted. The web that has no weaver. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000. p. 300-4.