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Traditional Chinese medicine

Historical Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine: – Traditional Chinese medicine practices date back over 2,000 years. – Key historical figures include Li Shizhen, Hua Shou, […]

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Historical Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine:
– Traditional Chinese medicine practices date back over 2,000 years.
– Key historical figures include Li Shizhen, Hua Shou, and Zhang Zhongjing.
– The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon and Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders are significant works from the Han dynasty.
– Integration of Chinese and Western medicine in the 1950s by the Chinese government.
– Mao Zedong’s support for TCM in 1950 and the promotion of TCM during the Cultural Revolution.

Integration and Promotion of Traditional Chinese Medicine:
– Chinese government-sponsored integration of TCM and Western medicine in the 1950s.
– TCM promoted as inexpensive and popular during the Cultural Revolution.
– Interest in TCM in the West sparked by the opening of relations between the US and China in 1972.
– The Chinese Medical Association aimed to create a modern, integrated medical system.
– TCM includes herbal medicine, acupuncture, cupping therapy, and dietary therapy.

Illegal Wildlife Trade and Traditional Chinese Medicine:
– Traditional medicine demand in China drives illegal wildlife smuggling.
– Chinese authorities have cracked down on illegal wildlife smuggling.
– Industry turning to cultivated alternatives due to crackdowns.
– Demand for traditional medicines led to killing and smuggling of endangered animals.
– TCM widely used in the Sinosphere, despite lack of scientific evidence.

Key Texts and Figures in Traditional Chinese Medicine:
– The Canon of Problems, AB Canon of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, and Canon of the Pulse are significant texts.
– Prominent medical scholars include Tao Hongjing, Sun Simiao, Zhang Jiegu, and Li Shizhen.
– Shennong Ben Cao Jing from the Eastern Han Dynasty summarized Chinese herbal medicine.
– The book Nanjing or Classic of Difficult Issues categorized symptoms for therapy.
– The historical development of Chinese medicine is primarily documented through primary source case studies.

Critiques and Philosophical Background of Traditional Chinese Medicine:
– Departure of TCM from historical origins and controversies within China over TCM practices.
– Poor research and support for TCM treatments and lack of scientific basis for TCM theory and practice.
– Common concepts in TCM include herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, exercise, and dietary therapy.
– TCM philosophy based on Yinyangism and Daoism, with a focus on Yin and Yang concepts.
– Inclusion of TCM in the global diagnostic compendium by WHO is not an endorsement of scientific validity.

Traditional Chinese medicine (Wikipedia)

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an alternative medical practice drawn from traditional medicine in China. It has been described as pseudoscientific, with the majority of its treatments having no known mechanism of action.

Traditional Chinese medicine
A prescription section of a pharmacy in Nanning, Guangxi, China selling prepackaged Chinese and Western medicine (left) and Chinese medicinal herbs (right)
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese中醫
Simplified Chinese中医
Literal meaning"Chinese medicine"
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabetY học cổ truyền Trung Quốc
Đông y
thuốc Bắc
thuốc Tàu
Korean name
Japanese name

Medicine in traditional China encompassed a range of sometimes competing health and healing practices, folk beliefs, literati theory and Confucian philosophy, herbal remedies, food, diet, exercise, medical specializations, and schools of thought. In the early twentieth century, Chinese cultural and political modernizers worked to eliminate traditional practices as backward and unscientific. Traditional practitioners then selected elements of philosophy and practice and organized them into what they called "Chinese medicine" (Chinese: 中医 Zhongyi). In the 1950s, the Chinese government sponsored the integration of Chinese and Western medicine, and in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, promoted Chinese medicine as inexpensive and popular. After the opening of relations between the United States and China after 1972, there was great interest in the West for what is now called traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

TCM is said to be based on such texts as Huangdi Neijing (The Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor), and Compendium of Materia Medica, a sixteenth-century encyclopedic work, and includes various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, cupping therapy, gua sha, massage (tui na), bonesetter (die-da), exercise (qigong), and dietary therapy. TCM is widely used in the Sinosphere. One of the basic tenets is that the body's qi is circulating through channels called meridians having branches connected to bodily organs and functions. There is no evidence that meridians or vital energy exist. Concepts of the body and of disease used in TCM reflect its ancient origins and its emphasis on dynamic processes over material structure, similar to the humoral theory of ancient Greece and ancient Rome.

The demand for traditional medicines in China was a major generator of illegal wildlife smuggling, linked to the killing and smuggling of endangered animals. However, Chinese authorities have in recent years cracked down on illegal wildlife smuggling, and the industry has increasingly turned to cultivated alternatives.

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