If you mean petri dish, negative-pressure laboratory scientific, then no. It is not. But, life does not unfold within the controlled environment of a laboratory. Life unfolds in forests, work-time commutes, seasons of flowers and birds, grocery store aisles, moments of bliss, birth, death and the 10,000 other moments that we hardly notice.
Chinese medicine did not develop by peering into a microscope, or tinkertoying with molecules; it has evolved over centuries of observation of how nature and life unfolds into being. It is not the science of double blind studies; it did not come from a system that imagines you can stand outside of it. It is the science of understanding from the inside, the art of reading connections as they unfold.
More like music than prose, in the same way Art invites us into an experience beyond the doorway of the work itself, the diagnostic process involved in Chinese medicine is the opposite of a reductionist narrowing to one guilty influence. Instead, it is based on process of piecing together seemingly unrelated connections, thus seeking to holistically glimpse a person’s situation. And unlike Western bio-medicine where there is a focus on one-size-fits-all treatment, Oriental medicine looks to see how each person’s condition is a unique expression of who they are, the environment, how it effects their life, and finally the illness process itself. We don’t focus solely on illness. We are not machines running down like a wind up toy. We are the stuff of starbursts, rainstorms and a curious divine spark.
Chinese medicine is neither heroic nor salvational. It does not assume we fell from a pristine state and we must work our way back to that one moment of lost perfection. It more sees life as a process of becoming. And while there are ups and downs, there is no going backward to some imaged moment when we were whole and somehow untouched by the world.
We are ever in a state of becoming– and this particular science is marvelously adept at tracking and facilitating that process!