TCM is a acronym used as a time saver to refer to Traditional Chinese Medicine. This practice, broadly defined, are a integrated series of treatments utilizing techniques such as dietary restriction, massage therapy, herbal treatments, acupuncture and various, usually low impact exercise regimes. TMC is generally classed as a alternative or complimentary medical practice and is not recommended for use in very serious or extremely long term illnesses. Some common traditional Chinese medicine herbs used include but are not limited to:
- Red ginseng root
- Polygala root
- Dong Quia root
- Cinnamon Bark
Below we will be examining the strengths and weakness’ of the various practices of alternative Chinese therapies. We will look at what works, what does not and what is simply nonsense.
First and foremost among the positive things of TCM is that it actually does work contrary to what many pop culture writers may tell you. Chinese herbs, in altered forms or mixed with other compounds, are used in mainstream medicine and have been scientifically proven to alleviate a wide variety of health problems.
Secondly we have methodology, whilst modern medicine is undeniably powerful in terms of it’s ability to alleviate suffering, the focus on one symptom or treatment can often lead to dire consequences. In contract to this TCM practitioners look at the body as if it were a whole unit and each disease as a specific occurrence that is unique to each body, regardless of the similarity of the symptoms. This means that every treatment is specifically tailored to the patient in question and will not rely on a formula that may, or may not do anything significant for the problem at hand.
Lastly the intense focus on changing the lifestyle of the patient is immeasurably underrated by modern medicine. And while it is certainly true that in certain circumstances a practicing doctor may tell the patient to lay off of or consume more of certain foods (such as sugar in the case of diabetes) this is usually not taken into consideration. Also, there are no harsh chemicals or questionable variables involved in the medicine used; it is a purely holistic process.
One of the biggest problems with TCM, and one of the central reasons that many within the modern scientific and medical community consider it to be largely nothing more than quackery, is the quasi-religious idea of internal, unmeasurable energy (Qi and Xue). There is no scientific or rational basis for these purported variables, though it should also be noted that most certified practitioners of traditional Chinese herbal medicine rarely, if ever incorporate such concepts into their practices anymore, especially if they are practicing in the Western world.