Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a range of diverse medical practices originating in China have been developed and practiced over several thousand years.
The English phrase “Traditional Chinese Medicine” (and its corresponding abbreviation TCM) were created in the 1950s by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) so that Chinese medicine could be exported (and hopefully adopted) throughout the world.
TCM is a compilation of diverse Traditional Chinese Medicine practices and techniques, which includes theories, diagnosis, and treatments in the following areas:
- Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Chinese Herbal Medicine
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Chinese Food Therapy
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Acupuncture and Moxibustion
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Tui Na (Massage Therapy)
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Qigong (Breathing and Meditation Exercises)
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Physical Exercise (Tai Chi Chuan)
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Mental Health Therapy (Feng Shui and Chinese Astrology)
In the western world, Traditional Chinese Medicine is considered Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM).
Macro Philosophy of Disease
The diagnostic techniques of Traditional Chinese Medicine are based on a “macro philosophy of disease” which involves observing various signs and symptoms at a range of locations in the body, rather than the “micro” level laboratory tests of Western Medicine.
Having said that, an increasing number of doctors from both sides are increasingly techniques of TCM and Medicine. For example, modern practitioners of TCM, even in China, are increasingly using TCM in conjunction with Western methods. And, there is growing support for TCM in Western Medicine, where doctors are increasingly considering various TCM diagnoses and treatments as well as those of Western Medicine.
However, in mainland China, Taiwan, and many other Asian countries, TCM (or techniques based on or related to TCM) are considered an integral and essential part of the health care system. The vast majority of people on this planet rely, at least in part, on TCM (or techniques based on or related to TCM) for their health care needs.
For example, in these countries, various TCM treatments may be prescribed to reduce the symptoms or help reduce or cure a variety of chronic and other medical conditions. In addition, TCM treatments may also be used to counter the side effects of chemotherapy and help drug addicts who are trying to kick their habits to deal with their withdrawal symptoms.
TCM does not operate within the contemporary scientific paradigm, however some practitioners are making efforts to bring practices into a biomedical and evidence-based medicine framework.
TCM theory asserts that processes in the human body are interrelated and in constant interaction with the environment. Signs of disharmony help the TCM practitioner to understand, treat and prevent illness and disease.
TCM theory and practice is based on a number of philosophical frameworks, such as the Meridian System and Yin-Yang. All TCM diagnoses and treatments are conducted with reference to one or more of these theories.
There is a popular saying in China which summarizes the difference between Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine perfectly: Chinese Medicine treats humans while Western Medicine treats diseases.