Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a system of teachings and practices originating in ancient China, and was developed from the close observation of the human body functioning and subsequent systematization of those observations using a characteristic for this region paradigm that can be described as a doctrine of symbols and numbers.
Try some free sample research papers on Chinese medicine to learn that in the mid-1950’s, China has revived interest in ancient teachings and practices, at this time TCM finally has emerged as a kind of alternative medicine and was positioned by the Government as a national treasure, a symbol of China, and as a scientific discipline. After 1972, when borders became more transparent, TCM has received a significant spread in Western countries.
TCM has been the subject of criticism for the absence of scientific grounds, for it being used instead of conventional medicine with doubtful effectiveness, possible side effects, the use of toxic and contaminated drugs, environmental threats due to the destruction of animals and plants, including rare and endangered species, promoting the creation of a black market in organs of animals and illegal trade. It is often considered by the science and evidence-based medicine as pseudoscientific and based on metaphysical assumptions.
According to The China Healthcare Department, over the past 60 years (1949-2009) the average life expectancy has risen from 35 to 73. This is directly related to the introduction of China’s modern scientific medicine instead of the traditional and the progress of medical science.
Traditional Chinese medicine is characterized by the concept of the meridians as channels of life energy qi. These views are still based on metaphysical principles characteristic of prescientific medicine. Meridians and their corresponding points are considered by modern science as a fictitious entity.
Modern Western scientific understanding of human anatomy also has emerged based on metaphysical views of prescientific medicine such as “fluids,” “muscles,” etc. In the process of transforming into the scientific medicine, the consistency between the metaphysical principles and empirical observations were established, which led to the formation of modern anatomical knowledge. So, the metaphysical idea of fluids was transformed into modern knowledge about the circulatory and lymphatic systems.
Traditional Chinese medicine was based on other views. Thus, there was no idea of “muscles.” There are attempts to establish similarities between metaphysical views of the humoral circulation in the Western tradition and qi circulation in Chinese. Modern Chinese scholars believe in the scientific character of traditional Chinese medicine as having an empirical basis, but evolving based on perceptions of the human body other than in the Western tradition.
Several researchers have given notable efforts to establish consistency between the modern scientific ideas about human anatomy, particularly the cardiovascular, nervous and lymphatic systems, and meridians. However, hard scientific evidence of such matches could not be found.
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