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Chinese Medicine is a complete healing system for improving balance of the mind, body and spirit. Chinese medicine includes the use of acupuncture, herbs, nutrition/diet, exercise and lifestyle recommendations.

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Chinese Medicine encompasses a variety of healing techniques to bring the body into balance. These include acupuncture, moxabustion, Chinese herbal formulas, cupping, and tui na.

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Chinese Medicine is the use of Acupuncture, Herbs, Tui-Na, Moxibustion, Tai Chi, Qi-Gong, Cupping and lifestyle counseling to help you to have a better, healthier and more fulfilled life. It is helped billions of people and has been in use for thousands of years.

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Chinese Medicine uses modalities such as acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, qi gong, meditation, cupping, moxibustion (the warming of acupuncture points), therapeutic massage, and nutrition to support the healing of the body and emotions. Chinese medicine can treat physical pain, emotional imbalance, and various types of disorders (respiratory , digestive,etc.)

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Chinese medicine is a healing system that consists of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, bodywork, and diet therapy. It treats illness by restoring balance to the body, mind, and emotions.

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A vast and varied system of holistic healing in which signs and symptoms in body, mind, and spirit are studied to determine underlying patterns of disharmony. Those patterns are then addressed through acupuncture, herbs, diet, moxibustion, tui na, and other means. The goal is to restore harmony, and through that, health.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) originated about 5000 years ago with the ancient Taoist, who viewed not just the universe, but the body as well, and saw how all things are unified. With the body every aspect is part of the whole; body, mind and spirit, and a reflection of the universe. Whereas Western/allopathic medicine tends to view the body as individual parts, therefore separates and isolates the disease from the person. You can say that TCM is the original Holistic Medicine.

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Chinese Medicine is a medical system dating back over 4000 years that has become a valid, complementary or alternative approach to modern Western medicine. Chinese Medicine includes Acupuncture, Herbology, Tuina (Chinese Bodywork) and various accessory techniques. Each modality is used to achieve physiologic and energetic balance in the body’s organ and meridian systems, and can be used to treat virtually any illness or symptom.

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Chinese Medicine is a broad medical paradigm that is wholistic and takes mind, body, and spirit into account. It incorporates many modalities including acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition gi gong and tai chi. The modality is chosen based on the needs of the patient or client.

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Chinese medicine has been used for thousands of years to help people heal on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. Billions of people have used this amazing medicine for centuries because it works!!!

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Chinese Medicine Description

* This article is updated daily from Wikipedia. It may contain minor formatting errors.
For the original content and references, click here. Last update: 8/19/2013.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM; ) is a broad range of medicine practices sharing common concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 5,000 years, including various forms of Chinese herbology|herbal medicine, acupuncture, Tui na|massage (Tui na), Qigong|exercise (qigong), and dietary therapy.*The doctrines of Chinese medicine are rooted in books such as the Huangdi Neijing|Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon and the Shanghan lun|Treatise on Cold Damage, as well as in cosmological notions like Yinyang|yin-yang and the five phases. Starting in the 1950s, these precepts were modernized in the People's Republic of China so as to integrate many anatomy|anatomical and pathology|pathological notions with modern scientific medicine. Nonetheless, some of its methods, including the TCM model of the body|model of the body, or Traditional Chinese medicine#Concept of disease|concept of disease, are not supported by modern evidence-based medicine and also a pseudoscience.*TCM's view of the body places little emphasis on anatomical structures, but is mainly concerned with the identification of functional entities (which regulate digestion, breathing, aging etc.). While health is perceived as harmonious interaction of these entities and the outside world, disease is interpreted as a disharmony in interaction. TCM diagnosis includes in tracing symptoms to Traditional Chinese medicine#Patterns|patterns of an underlying disharmony, by measuring the pulse, inspecting the tongue, skin, eyes and by looking at the eating and sleeping habits of the patient as well as many other things.


Traces of therapeutic activities in China date from the Shang dynasty (14th11th centuries BCE).* Though the Shang did not have a concept of "medicine" as distinct from other fields,* their oracle|oracular inscriptions on oracle bone|bones and tortoise shells refer to illnesses that affected the Shang royal family: eye disorders, toothaches, bloated abdomen, etc.,* which Shang elites usually attributed to curses sent by their ancestors.* There is no evidence that the Shang nobility used herbal remedies.*Stone and bone needles found in ancient tombs have made Joseph Needham speculate that acupuncture might have been carried out in the Shang dynasty.* But most historians now make a distinction between medical lancing (or bloodletting) and acupuncture in the narrower sense of using metal needles to treat illnesses by stimulating specific Acupuncture points|points along meridian (Chinese medicine)|circulation channels ("meridians") in accordance with theories related to the circulation of Qi.* The earliest public evidence for acupuncture in this sense dates to the second or first century BCE.*The Huangdi Neijing|Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon, the oldest received work of Chinese medical theory, was compiled around the first century BCE on the basis of shorter texts from different medical lineages.* Written in the form of dialogues between the legendary Yellow Emperor and his ministers, it offers explanations on the relation between humans, their natural environment|environment, and the cosmos, on the contents of the body, on human vitality and pathology, on the symptoms of illness, and on how to make diagnosis|diagnostic and therapeutic decisions in light of all these factors.* Unlike earlier texts like Wushi'er bingfang|Recipes for Fifty-Two Ailments, which was excavated in the 1970s from Mawangdui|a tomb that had been sealed in 168 BCE, the Inner Canon rejected the influence of spirits and the use of magic.* It was also one of the first books in which the cosmological doctrines of Yinyang and the Wu Xing|Five Phases were brought to a mature synthesis.*

The Shanghan lun|Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders and Miscellaneous Illnesses was collated by Zhang Zhongjing sometime between 196 and 220 CE, at the end of the Han Dynasty|Han dynasty. Focusing on drug prescriptions rather than acupuncture,* it was the first medical work to combine Yinyang and the Five Phases with drug therapy.* This Formulary (pharmacy)|formulary was also the earliest public Chinese medical text to group symptoms into clinically useful "patterns" (zheng ?) that could serve as targets for therapy although the private scrolls held by families were jealously guarded and although it is not known for sure what is in them, the traditional school today say that they have had this information for much longer. Having gone through numerous changes over time, the formulary now circulates as two distinct books: the Shang Han Lun|Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders and the Jingui Yaolue|Essential Prescriptions of the Golden Casket, which were edited separately in the eleventh century, under the Song Dynasty|Song dynasty.*In the centuries that followed the completion of the Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon, several shorter books tried to summarize or systematize its contents. The Nan Jing|Canon of Problems (probably second century CE) tried to reconcile divergent doctrines from the Inner Canon and developed a complete medical system centered on acupuncture|needling therapy.* The AB Canon of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (Zhenjiu jiayi jing ?, compiled by Huangfu Mi sometime between 256 and 282 CE) assembled a consistent body of doctrines concerning acupuncture;* whereas the Canon of the Pulse (Maijing ?; ca. 280) presented itself as a "comprehensive handbook of diagnostics and therapy."*

Historical physicians

These include Zhang Zhongjing, Hua Tuo, Sun Simiao, Tao Hongjing, Zhang Jiegu, and Li Shizhen.

Philosophical background

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is based on School of Yin Yang|Yinyangism (i.e., the combination of Wu xing|Five Phases theory with yin and yang|Yin-yang theory),* which was later absorbed by Daoism.*

Yin and yang

Yin and yang are ancient Chinese concepts which can be traced back to the Shang dynasty* (16001100 BC). They represent two abstract* and complementary aspects that every phenomenon in the universe can be divided into.* Primordial analogies for these aspects are the sun-facing (yang) and the shady (yin) side of a hill.* Two other commonly used representational allegories of yin and yang are water and fire.* In the yin-yang theory, detailed attributions are made regarding the yin or yang character of things:

The concept of yin and yang is also applicable to the human body; for example, the upper part of the body and the back are assigned to yang, while the lower part of the body are believed to have the yin character.* Yin and yang characterization also extends to the various body functions, and more importantly to disease symptoms (e.g., cold and heat sensations are assumed to be yin and yang symptoms, respectively).* Thus, yin and yang of the body are seen as phenomena whose lack (or overabundance) comes with characteristic symptom combinations:
  • Yin vacuity (also termed "vacuity-heat"): heat sensations, possible night sweats, insomnia, dry pharynx, dry mouth, dark urine, a red tongue with scant fur, and a "fine" and rapid pulse.*
  • Yang vacuity ("vacuity-cold"): aversion to cold, cold limbs, bright white complexion, long voidings of clear urine, diarrhea, pale and enlarged tongue, and a slightly weak, slow and fine pulse.*TCM also identifies drugs believed to treat these specific symptom combinations, i.e., to reinforce yin and yang.*

    Five Phases theory

    Five Phases (?, ), sometimes also translated as the "Five Elements"* theory, presumes that all phenomena of the universe and nature can be broken down into five elemental qualities represented by wood (?, ), fire (?), earth (?, ), metal (?, ), and water (?, ).* In this way, lines of correspondence can be drawn:

    Strict rules are identified to apply to the relationships between the Five Phases in terms of sequence, of acting on each other, of counteraction etc.* All these aspects of Five Phases theory constitute the basis of the Zang-fu|zng-fu concept, and thus have great influence regarding the TCM model of the body.* Five Phase theory is also applied in diagnosis and therapy.*

    Correspondences between the body and the universe have historically not only been seen in terms of the Five Elements, but also of the "Great Numbers" (?, )* For example, the number of acu-points has at times been seen to be 365, in correspondence with the number of days in a year; and the number of main meridian (Chinese medicine)|meridians 12 has been seen in correspondence with the number of rivers flowing through the History of China|ancient Chinese empire.*

    Model of the body

    TCM's view of the human body is only marginally concerned with anatomy|anatomical structures, but focuses primarily on the body's functions* (such as digestion, breathing, temperature maintenance, etc.):

    These functions are aggregated and then associated with a primary functional entity for instance, nourishment of the tissues and maintenance of their moisture are seen as connected functions, and the entity postulated to be responsible for these functions is xue (blood).* These functional entities thus constitute concepts rather than something with biochemical or anatomical properties*The primary functional entities used by traditional Chinese medicine are q, xue, the five zng organs, the six fu organs, and the meridians which extend through the organ systems.* These are all theoretically interconnected: each zng organ is paired with a fu organ, which are nourished by the blood and concentrate qi for a particular function, with meridians being extensions of those functional systems throughout the body.

    Attempts to reconcile these concepts with modern science in terms of identifying a physical correlate of them have so far failed.*


    TCM distinguishes not only one but several different kinds of qi ().* In a general sense, qi is something that is defined by five "cardinal functions":* # Actuation (?, tuidng) of all physical processes in the body, especially the circulation of all body fluids such as blood in their vessels. This includes actuation of the functions of the Traditional Chinese medicine#Zng-fu (organs)|zang-fu organs and meridian (Chinese medicine)|meridians. # Warming (?, ) the body, especially the limbs. # Defense (?, ) against Traditional Chinese medicine#Six Excesses|Exogenous Pathogenic Factors # Containment (?, ) of body fluids, i.e. keeping blood, sweat, urine, semen etc. from leakage or excessive emission. # Transformation (?, ) of food, drink, and breath into qi, Traditional Chinese medicine#Xue|xue (blood), and Traditional Chinese medicine#Bodily fluids (Jinye)|jinye (fluids), and/or transformation of all of the latter into each other. Vacuity of qi will especially be characterized by pale complexion, lassitude of spirit, lack of strength, spontaneous sweating, laziness to speak, non-digestion of food, shortness of breath (especially on exertion), and a pale and enlarged tongue.*

    Qi is believed to be partially generated from food and drink, and partially from air (by breathing).* Another considerable part of it is inherited from the parents and will be consumed in the course of life.*

    In terms of location, TCM uses special terms for qi running inside of the blood vessels and for qi which is distributed in the skin, muscles, and tissues between those. The former is called yng-q (), its function is to complement xu and its nature has a strong yin aspect (although qi in general is considered to be yang).* The latter is called we-q (), its main function is defence and it has pronounced yang nature.*

    Qi also circulates in the meridians. Just as the qi held by each of the zang-fu organs, this is considered to be part of the 'principal' qi (?, ) of the body* (also called ? , 'true' qi, or ? , 'original' qi).*


    In contrast to the majority of other functional entities, xue (?, "blood") is correlated with a physical form the Blood|red liquid running in the blood vessels.* Its concept is, nevertheless, defined by its functions: nourishing all parts and tissues of the body, safeguarding an adequate degree of moisture,* and sustaining and soothing both consciousness and sleep.*Typical symptoms of a lack of xue (usually termed "blood vacuity" [?, ]) are described as: Pale-white or withered-yellow complexion, dizziness, flowery vision, palpitations, insomnia, numbness of the extremities; pale tongue; "fine" pulse.*


    Closely related to xue are the jinye (?, usually translated as "body fluids"), and just like xue they are considered to be yin in nature, and defined first and foremost by the functions of nurturing and moisturizing the different structures of the body.* Their other functions are to harmonize yin and yang, and to help with the secretion of waste products.*Jinye are ultimately extracted from food and drink, and constitute the raw material for the production of xue; conversely, xue can also be transformed into jinye.* Their palpable manifestations are all bodily fluids: tears, sputum, Salivary gland|saliva, Gastric acid|gastric juice, Synovial fluid|joint fluid, Persperation|sweat, urine, etc.*


    The zng-fu () constitute the centre piece of TCM's systematization of bodily functions. Bearing the names of organs, they are, however, only secondarily tied to (rudimentary) anatomy|anatomical assumptions (the fu a little more, the zng much less).* As they are primarily defined by their functions,* they are not equivalent to the anatomical organs to highlight this fact, their names are usually capitalized.

    The term zng (?) refers to the five entities considered to be yin in nature Heart (Chinese medicine)|Heart, Liver (Chinese medicine)|Liver, Spleen (Chinese medicine)|Spleen, Lung (Chinese medicine)|Lung, Kidney (Chinese medicine)|Kidney , while fu (?) refers to the six yang organs Small intestine (Chinese medicine)|Small Intestine, Large Intestine (Chinese medicine)|Large Intestine, Gallbladder (Chinese medicine)|Gallbladder, Urinary Bladder (Chinese medicine)|Urinary Bladder, Stomach (Chinese medicine)|Stomach and San Jiao|Sanjiao.*The zng's essential functions consist in production and storage of q and xue; in a wider sense they are stipulated to regulate digestion, breathing, water metabolism, the musculoskeletal system, the skin, the sense organs, aging, emotional processes, mental activity etc.* The fu organs' main purpose is merely to transmit and digest (?, )* substances like waste, food, etc.

    Since their concept was developed on the basis of Wu xing|Wu Xng philosophy, each zng is paired with a fu, and each zng-fu pair is assigned to one of five elemental qualities (i.e., the Five Elements or Five Phases).* These correspondences are stipulated as:
  • Fire (?) = Heart (?, ) and Small Intestine (?, ) (and, secondarily, Sanjiao [?, "Triple Burner"] and Pericardium [?, ])
  • Earth (?) = Spleen (?, ) and Stomach (?, )
  • Metal (?) = Lung (?, ) and Large Intestine (?, )
  • Water (?) = Kidney (?, ) and Bladder (?, )
  • Wood (?) = Liver (?, ) and Gallbladder (?, )

    The zng-fu are also connected to the Meridian (Chinese medicine)#Twelve standard meridians|twelve standard meridians each yang meridian is attached to a fu organ and five of the yin meridians are attached to a zng. As there are only five zng but six yin meridians, the sixth is assigned to the Pericardium (Chinese medicine)|Pericardium, a peculiar entity almost similar to the Heart zng.*


    The meridians (?, ) are believed to be channels running from the zng-fu in the interior (?, ) of the body to the limbs and joints ("the surface" [?, ]), transporting qi and xue.* TCM identifies 12 "regular" and 8 "extraordinary" meridians;* the Chinese terms being ? (, lit. "the Twelve Vessels") and ? () respectively.* There's also a number of less customary channels branching off from the "regular" meridians.*

    Concept of disease

    In general, disease is perceived as a disharmony (or imbalance) in the functions or interactions of yin, yang, qi, xue, zng-fu, meridians etc. and/or of the interaction between the human body and the environment.* Therapy is based on which "pattern of disharmony" can be identified.* Thus, "pattern discrimination" is the most important step in TCM diagnosis.* It is also known to be the most difficult aspect of practicing TCM.*In order to determine which pattern is at hand, practitioners will examine things like the color and shape of the tongue, the relative strength of pulse-points, the smell of the breath, the quality of breathing or the sound of the voice.* For example, depending on tongue and pulse conditions, a TCM practitioner might diagnose bleeding from the mouth and nose as: "Liver fire rushes upwards and scorches the Lung, injuring the blood vessels and giving rise to reckless pouring of blood from the mouth and nose.".* He might then go on to prescribe treatments designed to Traditional Chinese medicine#Traditional categorization|clear heat or Traditional Chinese medicine#Traditional categorization|supplement the Lung.

    Disease entities

    In TCM, a disease has two aspects: "bng" and "zhng".* The former is often translated as "disease entity",* "disease category",* "illness",* or simply "diagnosis".* The latter, and more important one, is usually translated as "pattern"* (or sometimes also as "syndrome"*). For example, the disease entity of a common cold might present with a pattern of Traditional Chinese medicine#Six Excesses|wind-cold in one patient, and with the pattern of Traditional Chinese medicine#Six Excesses|wind-heat in another.*From a scientific point of view, most of the disease entitites (?, ) listed by TCM constitute mere symptoms.* Examples include headache, cough, abdominal pain, constipation etc.*Since therapy will not be chosen according to the disease entity but according to the pattern, two patients with the same disease entity but different patterns will receive different therapy. Vice versa, patients with similar patterns might receive similar therapy even if their disease entities are different. This is called ?,? (,* "different diseases, same treatment; same disease, different treatments").


    In TCM, "pattern" (?, ) refers to a "pattern of disharmony" or "functional disturbance" within the functional entities the TCM model of the body is composed of.* There are disharmony patterns of qi, xue, the body fluids, the zng-fu, and the meridians.* They are ultimately defined by their symptoms and "signs" (i.e., for example, pulse and tongue findings).*In clinical practice, the identified pattern usually involves a combination of affected entities* (compare with Traditional Chinese medicine#Typical examples of patterns|typical examples of patterns). The concrete pattern identified should account for all the symptoms a patient has.*

    Six Excesses

    The Six Excesses (?, ,* sometimes also translated as "Pathogenic Factors",* or "Six Pernicious Influences";* with the alternative term of ?, , "Six Evils" or "Six Devils"*) are allegorical terms used to describe disharmony patterns displaying certain typical symptoms.* These symptoms resemble the effects of six climatic factors.* In the allegory, these symptoms can occur because one or more of those climatic factors (called ?, , "the six qi"*) were able to invade the body surface and to proceed to the interior.* This is sometimesused to draw causal relationships (i.e., prior exposure to wind/cold/etc. is identified as the cause of a disease),* while other authors explicitly deny a direct cause-effect relationship between weather conditions and disease,* pointing out that the Six Excesses are primarily descriptions of a certain combination of symptoms* translated into a pattern of disharmony.* It is undisputed, though, that the Six Excesses can manifest inside the body without an external cause.* In this case, they might be denoted "internal", e.g., "internal wind"* or "internal fire (or heat)".*The Six Excesses and their characteristic clinical signs are: #Wind (?, ): rapid onset of symptoms, wandering location of symptoms, itching, nasal congestion, "floating" pulse;* tremor, paralysis, convulsion.* #Cold (?, ): cold sensations, aversion to cold, relief of symptoms by warmth, watery/clear excreta, severe pain, abdominal pain, contracture/hypertonicity of muscles, (slimy) white tongue fur, "deep"/"hidden" or "string-like" pulse,* or slow pulse.* #Fire/Heat (?, ): aversion to heat, high fever, thirst, concentrated urine, red face, red tongue, yellow tongue fur, rapid pulse.* (Fire and heat are basically seen to be the same)* #Dampness (?, ): sensation of heaviness, sensation of fullness, symptoms of Spleen dysfunction, greasy tongue fur, "slippery" pulse.* #Dryness (?, ): dry cough, dry mouth, dry throat, dry lips, nosebleeds, dry skin, dry stools.* #Summerheat (?, ): either heat or mixed damp-heat symptoms.* Six-Excesses-patterns can consist of only one or a combination of Excesses (e.g., wind-cold, wind-damp-heat).* They can also transform from one into another.*

    Typical examples of patterns

    For each of the functional entities (qi, xue, zng-fu, meridians etc.), typical disharmony patterns are recognized; for example: qi vacuity and qi stagnation in the case of qi;* blood vacuity, blood stasis, and blood heat in the case of xue;* Spleen qi vacuity, Spleen yang vacuity, Spleen qi vacuity with down-bearing qi, Spleen qi vacuity with lack of blood containment, cold-damp invasion of the Spleen, damp-heat invasion of Spleen and Stomach in case of the Spleen zng;* wind/cold/damp invasion in the case of the meridians.*TCM gives detailed prescriptions of these patterns regarding their typical symptoms, mostly including characteristic tongue and/or pulse findings.* For example:
  • "Upflaming Liver fire" (?, ): Headache, red face, reddened eyes, dry mouth, nosebleeds, constipation, dry or hard stools, profuse menstruation, sudden tinnitus or deafness, vomiting of sour or bitter fluids, expectoration of blood, irascibility, impatience; red tongue with dry yellow fur; slippery and string-like pulse.*

    Basic principles of pattern discrimination

    The process of determining which actual pattern is on hand is called ? (, usually translated as "pattern diagnosis",* "pattern identification"* or "pattern discrimination"*). Generally, the first and most important step in pattern diagnosis is an evaluation of the present signs and symptoms on the basis of the "Eight Principles" (?, ).* These eight principles refer to four pairs of fundamental qualities of a disease: exterior/interior, heat/cold, vacuity/repletion, and yin/yang.* Out of these, heat/cold and vacuity/repletion have the biggest clinical importance.* The yin/yang quality, on the other side, has the smallest importance and is somewhat seen aside from the other three pairs, since it merely presents a general and vague conclusion regarding what other qualities are found.* In detail, the Eight Principles refer to the following:
  • Exterior (?, ) refers to a disease manifesting in the superficial layers of the body skin, hair, flesh, and meridians.* It is characterized by aversion to cold and/or wind, headache, muscle ache, mild fever, a "floating" pulse, and a normal tongue appearance.*
  • Interior (?, )refers to disease manifestation in the zng-fu, or (in a wider sense) to any disease that can not be counted as exterior.* There are no generalized characteristic symptoms of interior patterns, since they'll be determined by the affected zng or fu entity.*
  • Cold (?, ) is generally characterized by aversion to cold, absence of thirst, and a white tongue fur.* More detailed characterization depends on whether cold is coupled with vacuity or repletion.*
  • Heat (?, ) is characterized by absence of aversion to cold, a red and painful throat, a dry tongue fur and a rapid and floating pulse, if it falls together with an exterior pattern.* In all other cases, symptoms depend on whether heat is coupled with vacuity or repletion.*
  • Vacuity (?, ) often referred to as "deficiency", can be further differentiated into vacuity of Traditional Chinese medicine#Qi|qi, Traditional Chinese medicine#Blood (Xue)|xue, Traditional Chinese medicine#Yin and yang|yin and yang, with all their respective characteristic symptoms.* Traditional Chinese medicine#Yin and yang|Yin vacuity can also be termed "vacuity-heat", while Traditional Chinese medicine#Yin and yang|yang vacuity is equivalent to "vacuity-cold".*
  • Repletion (?, ) often called "excess", generally refers to any disease that can't be identified as a vacuity pattern, and usually indicates the presence of one of the Six Excesses,* or a pattern of Traditional Chinese medicine#stagnation|stagnation (of qi, xue, etc.).* In a concurrent exterior pattern, repletion is characterized by the absence of sweating.* The signs and symptoms of repletion-cold patterns are equivalent to Traditional Chinese medicine#Six Excesses|cold excess patterns, and repletion-heat is similar to Traditional Chinese medicine#Six Excesses|heat excess patterns.*
  • Yin and yang are universal aspects all things can be classified under, this includes diseases in general as well as the Eight Principles' first three couples.* For example, cold is identified to be a yin aspect, while heat is attributed to yang.* Since descriptions of patterns in terms of yin and yang lack complexity and clinical practicality, though, patterns are usually not labelled this way anymore.* Exceptions are Traditional Chinese medicine#Yin and yang|vacuity-cold and Traditional Chinese medicine#Six Excesses|repletion-heat patterns, who are sometimes referred to as "yin patterns" and "yang patterns" respectively.*

    After the fundamental nature of a disease in terms of the Eight Principles is determined, the investigation focuses on more specific aspects.* By evaluating the present signs and symptoms against the background of typical disharmony patterns of the various entities, evidence is collected whether or how specific entities are affected.* This evaluation can be done # in respect of the meridians (?, )* # in respect of qi (?, )* # in respect of xue (?, )* # in respect of the body fluids (?, )* # in respect of the zng-fu (?, )* very similar to this, though less specific, is disharmony pattern description in terms of the Five Elements [?, ]*)

    There are also three special pattern diagnosis systems used in case of febrile and infectious diseases only ("Six Channel system" or "six division pattern" [?, ]; "Wei Qi Ying Xue system" or "four division pattern" [?, ]; "San Jiao system" or "three burners pattern" [?, ]).*

    Considerations of disease causes

    Although TCM and its concept of disease do not strongly differentiate between cause and effect,* pattern discrimination can include considerations regarding the disease cause; this is called ? (, "disease-cause pattern discrimination").*

    There are three fundamental categories of disease causes (?, ) recognized:* # external causes: these include the Six Excesses and "Pestilential Qi".* # internal causes: the "Seven Affects" (?, ,* sometimes also translated as "Seven Emotions"*) joy, anger, brooding, sorrow, fear, fright and grief.* These are believed to be able to cause damage to the functions of the zng-f, especially of the Liver.* # non-external-non-internal causes: dietary irregularities (especially: too much raw, cold, spicy, fatty or sweet food; voracious eating; too much alcohol),* fatigue, sexual intemperance, trauma, and parasites (?, ).*


    In TCM, there are five diagnostic methods: inspection, auscultation, olfaction, inquiry, and palpation.*
  • Inspection focuses on the face and particularly on the tongue, including analysis of the tongue size, shape, tension, color and coating, and the absence or presence of teeth marks around the edge.
  • Auscultation refers to listening for particular sounds (such as wheezing).
  • Olfaction refers to attending to body odor.
  • Inquiry focuses on the "seven inquiries", which involve asking the patient about the regularity, severity, or other characteristics of:
  • – chills
  • – fever
  • – perspiration
  • – appetite
  • – thirst
  • – taste
  • – defecation
  • – urination
  • – pain
  • – sleep
  • – menses
  • – leukorrhea
  • Palpation includes feeling the body for tender Acupuncture#Qi, meridians and acupuncture points|A-shi points, palpation of the wrist pulses as well as various other pulses, and palpation of the abdomen.

    Tongue and pulse

    Examination of the tongue and the pulse are among the principal diagnostic methods in TCM. Certain sectors of the tongue's surface are believed to correspond to the zng-fu. For example, teeth marks on one part of the tongue might indicate a problem with the Heart, while teeth marks on another part of the tongue might indicate a problem with the Liver. Pulse palpation involves measuring the pulse both at a superficial and at a deep level at three different locations on the radial artery (Cun, Guan, Chi, located two fingerbreadths from the wrist crease, one fingerbreadth from the wrist crease, and right at the wrist crease, respectively, usually palpated with the index, middle and ring finger) of each arm, for a total of twelve pulses, all of which are thought to correspond with certain zng-fu. The pulse is examined for several characteristics including rhythm, strength and volume, and described with qualities like "floating, slippery, bolstering-like, feeble, thready and quick"; each of these qualities indicate certain Traditional Chinese medicine#Patterns|disease patterns. Learning TCM pulse diagnosis can take several years.*

    Herbal medicine


    Typically, one batch of medicinals is prepared as a decoction of about 9 to 18 substances.* Some of these are considered as main herbs, some as ancillary herbs; within the ancillary herbs, up to three categories can be distinguished.*

    Raw materials

    There are roughly 13,000 medicinals used in China and over 100,000 medicinal recipes recorded in the ancient literature.* In the classic Handbook of Traditional Drugs from 1941, 517 drugs were listed out of these, 45 were animal parts, and 30 were minerals.*

    Animal substances

    Some animal parts used as medicinals can be considered rather strange such as cows' gallstones.* Some can include the parts of endangered species, including tiger bones* and rhinoceros horn.* The black market in rhinoceros horn reduced the world's rhino population by more than 90 percent over the past 40 years.* Concerns have also arisen over the use of turtle plastron,* seahorses,* and the gill plates of mobula and manta rays.*Since TCM recognizes bear bile as a medicinal, more than 12,000 asiatic black bears are held in "bear farms".* The bile is extracted through a permanent hole in the abdomen leading to the gall bladder, which can cause severe pain.*

    A number of animal species used in traditional Chinese medicine are now raised on farms in large quantities.*Australian scientists have developed methods to identify medicines containing DNA traces of endangered species.*

    Human body parts

    Traditional Chinese Medicine also includes some human parts: the classic Materia medica (Bencao Gangmu) describes the use of 35 human body parts and excreta in medicines, including bones, fingernail, hairs, dandruff, earwax, impurities on the teeth, feces, urine, sweat, organs, but most are no longer in use.*

    Traditional categorization

    The traditional categorizations and classifications that can still be found today are:
  • classification according to the Chinese herbology#Four Natures|Four Natures (?, ): hot, warm, cool, or cold (or, neutral in terms of temperature).* Hot and warm herbs are used to treat Traditional Chinese medicine#Basic principles of pattern discrimination|cold diseases, while cool and cold herbs are used to treat Traditional Chinese medicine#Basic principles of pattern discrimination|heat diseases.*
  • classification according to the Chinese herbology#The Five Tastes|Five Flavors, (?, , sometimes also translated as Five Tastes): acrid, sweet, bitter, sour, and salty.* Substances may also have more than one flavor, or none (i.e., a "bland" flavor).* Each of the Five Flavors corresponds to one of zng organs, which in turn corresponds to one of the Traditional Chinese medicine#Five Phases theory|Five Phases.* A flavor implies certain properties and therapeutic actions of a substance;e.g., saltiness drains downward and softens hard masses, while sweetness is supplementing, harmonizing, and moistening.*
  • classification according to the Meridian (Chinese medicine)|meridian more precise, the zng-organ including its associated meridian which can be expected to be primarily affected by a given medicinal.*
  • categorization according to the specific function. These categories mainly include:
  • – exterior-releasing* or exterior-resolving*
  • – heat-clearing*
  • – downward-draining* or precipitating*
  • – wind-damp-dispelling*
  • – dampness-transforming*
  • – promoting the movement of water and percolating dampness* or dampness-percolating*
  • – interior-warming*
  • – qi-regulating* or qi-rectifying*
  • – dispersing food accumulation* or food-dispersing*
  • – worm-expelling*
  • – stopping bleeding* or blood-wiktionary:stanching|stanching*
  • – quickening the Blood and dispelling stasis* or blood-quickening*
  • – transforming phlegm, stopping coughing and calming wheezing* or phlegm-transforming and cough- and panting-suppressing*
  • – Spirit-quieting*
  • – calming the Liver and expelling wind* or Liver-calming and wind-extinguishing*
  • – orifice-opening*
  • – supplementing:* this includes qi-supplementing, blood-nourishing, yin-enriching, and yang-fortifying.*
  • – astriction-promoting* or securing and astringing*
  • – vomiting-inducing*
  • – substances for external application*


    Regarding Traditional Chinese herbal therapy, only a few trials of adequate methodology exist and its effectiveness therefore remains poorly documented.* For example, a 2007 Cochrane review found promising evidence for the use of Chinese herbal medicine in relieving dysmenorrhea|painful menstruation, compared to conventional medicine such as NSAIDs and the oral contraceptive pill, but the findings must be interpreted with caution due to the generally low methodological quality of the included studies (as, amongst others, data for Placebo-controlled study|placebo control could not be obtained).*

    Acupuncture and moxibustion

    Acupuncture means insertion of needles into superficial structures of the body (skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscles) usually at acupuncture points (acupoints) and their subsequent manipulation; this aims at influencing the flow of qi.* According to TCM it relieves pain and treats (and prevents) various diseases.*Acupuncture is often accompanied by moxibustion the Chinese characters for acupuncture () literally meaning "acupuncture-moxibustion" which involves burning mugwort on or near the skin at an acupuncture point.*

    In electroacupuncture, an electrical current is applied to the needles once they are inserted, in order to further stimulate the respective acupuncture points.*


    The World Health Organization (WHO) has compiled a list of disorders for which acupuncture may have an effect: adverse reactions to chemotherapy and radiation, induction of labor, sciatica, dysmenorrhea, depression, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, and low back pain.* According to a 2007 review article, "the emerging clinical evidence seems to imply that acupuncture is effective for some but not all conditions".* A 2011 Cochrane review documented that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of migraines, neck disorders, tension headaches, and some types of osteoarthritis, while results were inconclusive for efficacy in treating shoulder pain, lateral elbow pain, and low back pain, and negative for rheumatoid arthritis.* There is evidence "that acupuncture provides a short-term clinically relevant effect when compared with a waiting list control or when acupuncture is added to another intervention" in the treatment of chronic low back pain.*Several review articles discussing the effectiveness of acupuncture have concluded that its effects may be due to placebo.*

    There is general agreement that acupuncture is safe when administered by well-trained practitioners using sterile needles.* Major adverse events are exceedingly rare and are usually associated with poorly trained unlicensed acupuncturists.*

    Tui na

    Main|Tui na}} Tui na (?) is a form of massage akin to acupressure (from which shiatsu evolved). Oriental massage is typically administered with the patient fully clothed, without the application of grease or oils. Choreography often involves thumb presses, rubbing, percussion, and stretches.


    Main|Qigong}} Qgong (? or ?) is a TCM system of exercise and meditation that combines regulated breathing, slow movement, and focused awareness, purportedly to cultivate and balance qi.{{cite book |last=Holland |first=Alex |year=2000 |title=Voices of Qi: An Introductory Guide to Traditional Chinese Medicine |publisher= North Atlantic Books |isbn=1-55643-326-3}} One branch of qigong is qigong massage, in which the practitioner combines massage techniques with awareness of the acupuncture channels and points.Silva, L., Schalock, M., Ayres, R., Bunse, C., & Budden, S. (2009). Qigong Massage Treatment for Sensory and Self-Regulation Problems in Young Children with Autism: A Randomized Controlled Trial. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63, 423432Silva, L., Schalock, M. & Gabrielsen, K.(2011). Early Intervention for Autism with a Parent-delivered Qigong Massage Program: A Randomized Controlled Trial. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(5):550559.

    Other therapies


    Fire cupping|Cupping (?) is a type of Chinese massage, consisting of placing several glass "cups" (open spheres) on the body. A match is lit and placed inside the cup and then removed before placing the cup against the skin. As the air in the cup is heated, it expands, and after placing in the skin, cools, creating lower pressure inside the cup that allows the cup to stick to the skin via suction. When combined with massage oil, the cups can be slid around the back, offering "reverse-pressure massage".

    Gua Sha

    Gua Sha is abrading the skin with pieces of smooth jade, bone, animal tusks or horns or smooth stones; until red spots then bruising cover the area to which it is done. It is believed that this treatment is for almost any ailment including cholera. The red spots and bruising take 3 to 10 days to heal, there is often some soreness in the area that has been treated.Gua Sha, Guasha.com, Arya Nielsen, Fellow National Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, former Chair of the New York State Boardfor Acupuncture, *Gua Sha ( Guasha ) Chinese medicine and acupuncture treatment by Arya Nielsen.*{{cite web|url=http://www.tcmwell.com/TCMNaturalTherapy/GuashaCupping/GuaSha-Treatment-of-Disease.html |title=GuaSha Treatment of Disease |publisher=Tcmwell.com |accessdate=2011-05-17}}{{cite web|url=http://thechifarm.com/legacy/acupuncture_treatment/pdf/gua_sha.pdf |title=Gua Sha: A Clinical Overview, Arya Nielson, Chinese Medicine Times |format=PDF |accessdate=2011-05-17}}The effect of Gua Sha treatment on the microcirculation of surface tissue: a pilot study in healthy subjects, A Nielsen, N Knoblauch, GJ Dobos, *Elsevier*


    Die-d (?) or bone-setting is usually practiced by martial artists who know aspects of Chinese medicine that apply to the treatment of Physical trauma|trauma and injuries such as bone fractures, sprains, and bruises. Some of these specialists may also use or recommend other disciplines of Chinese medical therapies (or Western medicine in modern times) if serious injury is involved. Such practice of bone-setting (? or ?) is not common in the West.

    Chinese food therapy

    main|Chinese food therapy

    Relationship with evidence based medicine

    TCM contains elements based in the cosmology of Taoism,{{Cite book|last=Unschuld|first=Paul Ulrich|title=Medicine in China: A History of Ideas|publisher=University of California Press|year=1985|isbn=0-520-06216-7|ref=harv}} and considers the human body more in functional and vitalism|vitalistic than anatomical terms.{{Cite news|title=The Roots of Qi| url=http://www.csicop.org/sb/show/roots_of_qi/|publisher=CSICOP |accessdate=12 February 2009|ref=harv}} Health and illness in TCM follow the principle of yin and yang, and are ascribed to balance or imbalance in the flow of a Putative energy|vital force, qi.{{Cite news|first=Stephen|last=Barrett|title=Be Wary of Acupuncture, Qigong, and "Chinese Medicine"| url=http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/acu.html| publisher=Quackwatch|month=30 December |year=2007|accessdate=4 January 2009|ref=harv}} Diagnostic methods are solely external, including pulse diagnosis|pulse examination at six points, examination of a patient's tongue, and a patient interview; interpractitioner diagnostic agreement is poor.{{cite web|url=http://www.mdanderson.org/departments/cimer/display.cfm?id=62639b39-b458-4926-8a9b3cb261dc1e4d&method=displayfull&pn=6eb86a59-ebd9-11d4-810100508b603a14 |title=Traditional Chinese Medicine: Principles of Diagnosis and Treatment |accessdate=12 February 2009 |work=Complementary/Integrative Medicine Therapies |publisher=The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center|ref=harv }}{{Cite book|first=Giovanni|last=Maciocia|title=The Foundations of Chinese Medicine|publisher=Churchill Livingstone|year=1989|isbn=0-443-03980-1|ref=harv}}{{cite web|url=http://www.acuwatch.org/reports/diagnosis.shtml |title=Why TCM Diagnosis Is Worthless |accessdate=16 February 2009 |last=Barrett |first=Stephen |month=28 March |year=2008 |work=Acupuncture Watch |ref=harv}} The TCM theory of the function and structure of the human body is fundamentally different from modern medicine, though some of the procedures and remedies have shown promise under scientific investigation.{{cite web|author=NIH Consensus Development Program |title=Acupuncture --Consensus Development Conference Statement |url=http://consensus.nih.gov/1997/1997Acupuncture107html.htm |month=35 November |year=1997 |publisher=National Institutes of Health |accessdate=17 July 2007|ref=harv}}{{Cite news|title=Traditional Medicine and Pseudoscience in China: A Report of the Second CSICOP Delegation (Part 1)|url=http://www.csicop.org/si/show/china_conference_1/|publisher=CSICOP|accessdate=12 February 2009|ref=harv}} {{Dead link|date=September 2010|bot=H3llBot}}–* Acupuncture use of fine needles to stimulate acupuncture points and balance the flow of qi. There is no known anatomical or histological basis for the existence of acupuncture points or meridians.{{cite web|url=http://www.ncahf.org/pp/acu.html |title=NCAHF Position Paper on Acupuncture (1990) |accessdate=30 December 2007 |month=16 September |year=1990 |publisher=National Council Against Health Fraud |ref=harv}}{{Cite book| first=Felix |last = Mann|authorlink=Felix Mann]|quote= ...acupuncture points are no more real than the black spots that a drunkard sees in front of his eyes.|title= Reinventing Acupuncture: A New Concept of Ancient Medicine. |publisher=Butterworth Heinemann, |location=London|year=1996|page=14|ref=harv}} Some acupuncturists regard them as functional rather than structural entities, useful in guiding evaluation and care of patients.{{cite book|last=Kaptchuk|title=unknown|year= 1983|pages=3435|ref=harv}}{{cite pmid|15103027}} Dry needling is the therapeutic insertion of fine needles without regard to TCM knowledge. Acupuncture has been the subject of active scientific method|scientific research since the late 20th century,{{Cite journal|last=Ernst |first=E|last2= Pittler |first2=MH|last3= Wider |first3=B|last4= Boddy |first4=K. |title=Acupuncture: its evidence-base is changing |journal=Am J Chin Med. |volume=35|issue=1 |pages=215 |year=2007 |pmid=17265547 |doi=10.1142/S0192415X07004588|ref=harv}} and its effects and application remain controversial among medical researchers and clinicians. Because it is a procedure rather than a pill, the design of controlled studies is challenging, as with surgery|surgical and other procedures.{{Cite journal|last=White |first=AR|last2= Filshie |first2=J|last3= Cummings |first3=TM |title=Clinical trials of acupuncture: consensus recommendations for optimal treatment, sham controls and blinding|journal=Complement Ther Med. |volume=9 |issue=4 |pages=237245 |year=2001 |pmid=12184353 |doi=10.1054/ctim.2001.0489|ref=harv}}{{Cite journal|last=Johnson |first=MI |title=The clinical effectiveness of acupuncture for pain reliefyou can be certain of uncertainty|journal= Acupunct Med. |volume=24 |issue=2 |pages=719 |year=2006 |pmid=16783282 |doi=10.1136/aim.24.2.71|ref=harv}}{{cite web|author=Committee on the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by the American Public |year=2005 |url=http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11182 |title=Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States|publisher= National Academies Press|ref=harv|page=126}} Some scholarly reviews conclude that acupuncture's effects are mainly placebo effect|placebo,{{Cite journal|last=Madsen |first=MV |last2= Gtzsche |first2=PC |last3= Hrbjartsson |first3= A |title=Acupuncture treatment for pain: systematic review of randomised clinical trials with acupuncture, placebo acupuncture, and no acupuncture groups |journal=BMJ |volume=338 |issue= 27 January |page=a3115 |year=2009 |pmid=19174438 |doi= 10.1136/bmj.a3115|url=http://bmj.com/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=19174438 |pmc=2769056|ref=harv}}{{Cite journal|last=Ernst |first=E |title=Acupuncturea critical analysis |journal=Journal of Internal Medicine |volume=259 |issue=2 |pages=12537 |year=2006 |month=February |pmid=16420542 |doi=10.1111/j.1365-2796.2005.01584.x|ref=harv}} and others find likelihood of efficacy for particular conditions.{{Cite journal|last=Furlan |first=AD|last2= van Tulder |first2=MW|last3= Cherkin |first3=DC |editor1-last=Furlan|editor1-first=Andrea D |title=Acupuncture and dry-needling for low back pain |journal=Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) |volume= |issue=1 |pages=CD001351 |year=2005 |pmid=15674876 |doi=10.1002/14651858.CD001351.pub2 |url=http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab001351.html|ref=harv}}{{Cite journal|last=Lee |first=A|last2= Done |first=ML|editor-last=Lee|editor-first=Anna |title=Stimulation of the wrist acupuncture point P6 for preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting |journal=Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) |volume= |issue=3 |pages=CD003281 |year=2004 |pmid=15266478 |doi=10.1002/14651858.CD003281.pub2 |url=http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab003281.html|ref=harv}}{{cite web|title=Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials Section 3|publisher= World Health Organization|year=2003|url= http://www.who.int/medicinedocs/pdf/s4926e/s4926e.pdf|format=PDF|ref=harv}}–:* Acupressure manual therapy|manual non-invasive stimulation of acupuncture points.NIH Consensus statement: "Despite considerable efforts to understand the anatomy and physiology of the "acupuncture points", the definition and characterization of these points remains controversial. Even more elusive is the basis of some of the key traditional Eastern medical concepts such as the circulation of Qi, the meridian system, and the five phases theory, which are difficult to reconcile with contemporary biomedical information but continue to play an important role in the evaluation of patients and the formulation of treatment in acupuncture." Acupuncture. National Institutes of Health: Consensus Development Conference Statement, 35 November 1997. Available online at *consensus.nih.gov/1997/1997Acupuncture107html.htm*. Retrieved 30 January 2007.–:* Acupuncture points or acupoints collection of several hundred points on the body lying along meridians. According to TCM theory, each corresponds to a particular organ or function.
    –* Meridian (Chinese medicine)|Meridians are the channels through which qi flows, connecting the several zang-fu organ pairs.{{cite web|url=http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary?CdrID=449742 |title=Definition of Chinese meridian theory |accessdate=16 February 2009 |publisher=National Cancer Institute }} There is no known anatomical or histological basis for the existence of acupuncture points or meridians.
    –* Moxibustion application on or above the skin of smoldering mugwort, or moxa, to stimulate acupuncture points.
    –* Qi vital energy whose flow must be balanced for health. Qi has never been directly observed, and is unrelated to the concept of energy used in science.{{Cite journal|title=Full of Holes: the curious case of acupuncture|journal=Scientific American|date=2005-07|first=Michael|last=Shermer|coauthors=|volume=293|issue=2|page=30|id= |url=http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=full-of-holes|format=|accessdate=16 February 2009|ref=harv }}{{Cite news| first=Victor J. | last=Stenger | coauthors= | title=Reality Check: the energy fields of life | date=1998-06 | publisher=Committee for Skeptical Inquiry | url =http://www.csicop.org/sb/9806/reality-check.html | work =Skeptical Briefs | pages = | accessdate =25 December 2007 | language = |archiveurl = http://web.archive.org/web/20071211153047/http://www.csicop.org/sb/9806/reality-check.html |archivedate = 11 December 2007}} "Despite complete scientific rejection, the concept of a special biological fields within living things remains deeply engraved in human thinking. It is now working its way into modern health care systems, as non-scientific alternative therapies become increasingly popular. From acupuncture to homeopathy and therapeutic touch, the claim is made that healing can be brought about by the proper adjustment of a person's or animal's "bioenergetic fields.""{{Cite news|title=Traditional Medicine and Pseudoscience in China: A Report of the Second CSICOP Delegation (Part 2)|url=http://www.csicop.org/si/show/china_conference_2/|publisher=CSICOP|date=|accessdate=15 February 2009}} {{Dead link|date=September 2010|bot=H3llBot}}–* Chinese herbology|TCM materia medica a collection of crude medicines used in Traditional Chinese medicine. These include many plants in part or whole, such as ginseng and Wolfberry#Medicinal|wolfberry, as well as more exotic ingredients such as Seahorse#Use in Chinese medicine|seahorses. Preparations generally include several ingredients in combination, with selection based on physical characteristics such as taste or shape, or relationship to the organs of TCM.{{cite web|url=http://www.mdanderson.org/departments/cimer/display.cfm?id=1b608136-f1c3-43b5-a3e14b864d2d14c6&method=displayfull&pn=6eb86a59-ebd9-11d4-810100508b603a14 |title=Traditional Chinese Medicine: Overview of Herbal Medicines |accessdate=12 February 2009 |work=Complementary/Integrative Medicine Therapies |publisher=The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center }} Most preparations have not been rigorously evaluated or give no indication of efficacy.{{Cite journal| last = Yuehua | first = N | year = 2004 | title = Chinese medicinal herbs for sore throat (Review) | doi = 10.1002/14651858.CD004877 | last2 = Chen| editor1-first = Jin | first2 = J | last3 = Wu | first3 = T| editor1-last = Chen | last4 = Jiafu | first4 = W | last5 = Liu | first5 = G | last6 = Chen | first6 = Jin| ref = harv}}{{Cite news| first=Nigel | last=Praities | coauthors= |authorlink= | title=GPs warned over Chinese medicine | date=7 August 2008 | publisher= | url =http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=23&storycode=4120343&c=1 | work =Pulse | pages = | accessdate =16 February 2009 | language = }}{{dead link|date=March 2013}} Pharmacognosy research for potential active ingredients present in these preparations is active, though the applications do not always correspond to those of TCM.{{Cite journal| last = Normile | first = Dennis | year = 2003 | title = ASIAN MEDICINE: the New Face of Traditional Chinese Medicine | journal = Science | volume = 299 | issue = 5604 | pages = 188190 | doi = 10.1126/science.299.5604.188 | url = http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/299/5604/188 | pmid = 12522228| ref = harv}}–* Zang-fu concept of organs as functional yin and yang entities for the storage and manipulation of qi. These organs are not based in anatomy.
  • Urine therapy drinking either one's own undiluted urine or homeopathic potions of urine for treatment of a wide variety of diseases is based on pseudoscience.{{Cite book|author=Gardner, Martin |title=Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?: Debunking Pseudoscience |publisher=W.W. Norton & Company |location=New York |year=2001 |pages=92101 |isbn=0-393-32238-6 |oclc= |doi= |accessdate=}}
  • Vitalism doctrine that the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some part self-determining. The book Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience stated "today, vitalism is one of the ideas that form the basis for many pseudoscientific health systems that claim that illnesses are caused by a disturbance or imbalance of the body's vital force." "Vitalists claim to be scientific, but in fact they reject the scientific method with its basic postulates of cause and effect and of provability. They often regard subjective experience to be more valid than objective material reality."{{Cite book|author=Williams, William A. |title=Encyclopedia of pseudoscience |publisher=Facts on File |location=New York |year=2000 |pages= |isbn=0-8160-3351-X |oclc= |doi= |accessdate=}}


    Many governments have enacted laws to regulate TCM practice.


    From 1 July 2012 Chinese medicine practitioners must be registered under the national registration and accreditation scheme with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia and meet the Board's Registration Standards, in order to practise in Australia.http://www.chinesemedicineboard.gov.au Chinese Medicine Board of Australia

    Hong Kong

    The Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong was established in 1999. It regulates the medicinals and professional standards for TCM practitioners. All TCM practitioners in Hong Kong are required to register with the Council. The eligibility for registration includes a recognised 5-year university degree of TCM, a 30-week minimum supervised clinical internship, and passing the licensing exam.*Hong Kong Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner licensure requirements


    The Traditional and Complementary Medicine Bill was passed by Parliament in 2012 establishing the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Council to register and regulate traditional and complementary medicine practitioners, including traditional Chinese medicine practitioners as well as other traditional and complementary medicine practitioners such as those in traditional Malay medicine and traditional Indian medicine.{{cite web|title=TRADITIONAL AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE BILL |url=http://www.parlimen.gov.my/files/billindex/pdf/2012/DR302012E.pdf}}{{cite web|title=Official Portal of Traditional & Complementary Medicine Division, Ministry of Health|url=http://tcm.moh.gov.my/v4/}}{{cite web|title=Official Malaysia Traditional Chinese Medicine Centre|url=http://mineswellnesscity.com/Traditional-Chinese-Medicine.php}}


    The TCM Practitioners Act was passed by Parliament in 2000 and the TCM Practitioners Board was established in 2001 as a statutory board under the Ministry of Health, to register and regulate TCM practitioners. The requirements for registration include possession of a diploma or degree from a TCM educational institution/university on a gazetted list, either structured TCM clinical training at an approved local TCM educational institution or foreign TCM registration together with supervised TCM clinical attachment/practice at an approved local TCM clinic, and upon meeting these requirements, passing the Singapore TCM Physicians Registration Examination (STRE) conducted by the TCM Practitioners Board.{{cite web|title=Registration Requirements for the Registration of TCM Physicians|url=http://www.healthprofessionals.gov.sg/content/hprof/tcmpb/en/leftnav/registration_requirements.html}}

    United States

    As of July 2012, only six states do not have existing legislation to regulate the professional practice of TCM. These six states are Alabama, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. In 1976, California established an Acupuncture Board and became the first state licensing professional acupuncturists.*California Acupuncture Board
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