Social Sciences Department

Degree Name

BS in Anthropology and Geography




Dawn Neill


Today complimentary medicine is being increasingly sought out. Ayurveda and TCM, are among the oldest systems of medicine and have been developed for over thousands of years in India and China respectively. This paper details the philosophies, medical theories, anatomy, diagnosis, and treatments of both of these systems, including a comparison. Both of these modalities of healing operate with a microcosm – macrocosm paradigm. This makes them fundamentally similar, and compatible with each other. Ayurveda uses Tridoshic theory to apply treatments ranging from diet, massage, meditation, yoga among other therapies to bring Vata, Pitta, and Kapha into balance. TCM is based on the five elements theory, which is strongly connected to the relationships between the organs. Acupuncture, herbal prescriptions, and diet are used to bring the elements wood, fire, earth, metal, and water into balance.