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What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?

Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) is one of the oldest, professional, continually practiced medicines in the world with its own unique theory system. Generally speaking, all forms of oriental medicine have their roots in TCM. It is a body of healthcare that includes acupuncture, moxibustion, herbal medicine, nutrition/food therapy, acupressure, cupping, etc. TCM is considered to be both holistic and natural medicine. The method of Chinese medicine diagnosis includes looking, listening/smelling, inquiring, and pulse-taking. Syndrome differentiation plays important role in TCM. It provides a different form of diagnosis and therapy to Allopathic Western Medicine.

中医拥有自身独特的医疗理论体系,是世界上最古老的、专业的、被持续运用的医学之一。一般来说,东方各种医学源自中国传统医学, 包括多种形式, 如针刺、灸疗、草药疗法、保健品或食品疗法、指压法、拔罐等。中医被认为既是整体医学,又是自然医学。中医诊断的方式包括望、听/闻、问、切,即四诊。症状的辩证,在中医诊治中起着重要作用。

Although the goals of TCM and Western medicine are the same, their ideas about what causes a disease, the nature of the disease itself, and the process used to regain health are very different. The physician usually learns that the disease needs to be cured by prescribing medicine or by surgery.

尽管中医与西医目的相同, 但他们对病因、疾病本身的性质,和治疗以致恢复健康的过程的看法是截然不同的。西医往往认为,病症必须通过处方用药或者外科手术才能治愈。

There is nothing inherently wrong with this approach. It often works. But why does TCM succeed where western medicine fails in some of cases? What is it about acupuncture and herbal medicine that can result in relief of symptoms or even a cure that is lacking in western medicine for some of cases?


Although the goal of TCM is to cure a patient, the doctor of TCM attempts to do this by treating the whole person, taking into account the various attributes of an individual that, when combined, account for an person being sick or healthy. People are not, according to TCM, represented solely by their illness, but by the accumulation of every human interaction engaged in from the moment of their birth and by the culture they are exposed to. The emotional experiences, eating habits, work habits, work and living environment, personal habits, and social network all contribute to their disease and are factors that, when changed appropriately, may lead to regained health.

尽管中医的目的是治好病人的某种病,但是中医大夫在诊治时会尽量考虑病人各方面的症状和情况(这些症状和情况综合起来可以诊断一个人健康与否),对病人进行全面诊治,而不是局部诊治和将病治病。 中医认为,人人不仅仅单纯受疾病的的影响,还要受自出生以来人际交往和所处的文化背景的影响。情绪体验,饮食习惯,工作习惯,工作和生活环境,个人习惯和社交网络等所有有助于治愈疾病的因素,一旦发生正确的改变,就可以导致恢复健康。

Western treatment typically interfere with disease process to stop it or interfere with physiological process to mask symptoms. In the end, the body must heal from the treatment as well as the illness.


The power and effectiveness of TCM is evidenced by its long history of continued success. More than a quarter of the world’s population regularly uses TCM including acupuncture and Chinese herbal remedies as part of their health care regimen. Chinese medicine is the only form of classical medicine that is regularly and continuously used outside of its country of origin.


The only diagnostic tools used by doctors of Chinese medicine are the “Four Examinations”: 1. Observing 2. Listening/Smelling 3. Questioning 4. Palpating. This method of diagnosis dates back over 3,000 years, and although it may seem quite simple, is far from simplistic. Each of the Four Examinations can take years to master, and the astute practitioner-uses them to arrive at a differential diagnosis. With the advent of technology—as amazing, necessary, and beneficial as can be—there seems to be a direct correlation between advances in technology and a decline in doctor sensitivity to the patient, and thus, misdiagnosis. The experienced doctor must use his or her own interpretive skills and consider not only what the patient reports to them about their condition, but also what they reveal without meaning too and what they don’t express.

传统中医的诊断方法是“四诊”: 即1望诊、2闻诊、3问诊、4切诊。这种诊断方法可以追溯到3000多年以前的中国古代,虽然看似比较简单,但实际上一点也不容易。四诊中的每种诊断方法都需要多年的行医经验的积累才能熟练掌握,只有熟练的中医师uny才会使用此法得出辨证的诊断结果。随着非常神奇的、必要的、有益的技术的出现,似乎可以以为技术先进了,就会意味着大夫诊断病人能力的下降,从而会导致误诊。有经验的中医大夫必须运用其熟练的诊断技巧充分考虑到病人全面的身体状况,不仅包括病人有意反映出来的情况,而且包括无意反映出来的情况,还有没有表达出来的情况。


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