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Common Misunderstandings of Traditional Chinese Medicine


Many years back, I remember there were articles claiming Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) were nothing but scams, or claiming that TCM was not scientific or worthy to pay attention to. These are misunderstandings.

When we, the western world, attempt to examine Traditional Chinese Medicine, we tend to put on our Western medicine lenses on to look at it, and that is where these conflicts and doubts of TCM comes from. Such conflict not just existed within the healthcare professionals, it also within the public majorities.

Football, baseball and basketball are the three major sports in our country. Other than sharing the same term --- Sport --- they are totally different in style and play. There might be some opinions about these different sports, generally we didn’t hear people citing which one is superior, which one is inferior, or citing which particular sport is a “scam”. This was because we understand the playing rules of each of the three sports, and we love all of them.
The misunderstanding towards the TCM is because majority of the people, healthcare professional or nonprofessional, don’t understand the “the playing rules” (the theory) of the TCM.

The Western Medicine is evidence-based science, the Traditional Chinese Medicine is experience-based science. Comparing TCM with Western Medicine is not apple-to-apple; it’s apples-to-oranges.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is not a “scam”.

TCM is a science based on years and years of observations and inductions. Such science doesn’t fit or match the scrutiny of the modern Western Medicine which is analytical and evidence-based in nature. We just can’t compare apples with oranges.

Here are some common idioms that one would come across during their study of TCM.

‘The Western Medicine sees human as an organism; the TCM sees human as a small universe within this great universe.’

Hard to understand? Or Hard to capture the point? What about this --- The Western Medicine treats the diseases; the TCM treats You --- the small universe!

Or let’s say --- The Western Medicine chasing the diseases; the TCM chasing You!

To understand further about the Traditional Chinese Medicine, and how the TCM helps the human body, please follow our blog!

Benjamin Hsu