Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a branch of traditional medicine that is said to be based on more than 3,500 years of Chinese medical practice that includes various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, cupping therapy, gua sha, massage
(tui na), bonesetter (die-da), exercise (qigong), and dietary therapy. In some practices, modern Chinese medicine is a blend of TCM and Western medicine, although there is no high-quality clinical evidence that TCM is safe or effective for treating any disease. There is no scientific evidence for traditional Chinese concepts such as qi, meridians, and acupuncture
points. The TCM theory and practice are not based upon scientific knowledge, and there is disagreement between TCM practitioners on what diagnosis and treatments should be used for any given person. The effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine
remains poorly researched and supported, and most of its treatments have no logical mechanism of action.There are concerns over a number of potentially toxic plants, animal parts, and mineral Chinese compounds.There are some concerns over illegal trade
and transport of endangered species
including rhinoceroses and tigers, and the welfare of specially farmed animals including bears. A review of cost-effectiveness research for TCM found that studies had low levels of evidence, with no beneficial outcomes. Pharmaceutical research has explored the potential for creating new drugs
from traditional remedies, with few successful results. Proponents suggest that research has so far missed key features of the art of TCM, such as unknown interactions between various ingredients and complex interactive biological systems. A Nature editorial described TCM as "fraught with pseudoscience", and said that the most obvious reason why it has not delivered many cures is that the majority of its treatments have no logical mechanism of action. One of the basic tenets of TCM is that the body's vital energy (ch'i or qi) is circulating through channels called meridians having branches connected to bodily organs and functions. The concept of vital energy is considered pseudoscience. 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 European humoral theory.
Relevant Topics in Medical Sciences