Medicine ("TCM") is an integral part of Chinese culture. It has made great
contributions to the prosperity of China. Today both of TCM and western medicine are being
used in providing medical and health services in China. TCM, with its unique diagnostic
methods, systematic approach, abundant historical literature and materials, has attracted
many attentions from the international community. TCM is well recognized for its
remarkable effectiveness in off setting the side effect caused by the toxic and chemical
treatment of cancer cases in the western medical system.
In China, TCM is under the administration of State Administration of
TCM and Pharmacology. TCM and its development are regulated. National strategies, law and
regulations governing TCM are now in place to guide and promote the research and
development in this promising industry.
TCM is defined as a medical science governing the theory and
practice of traditional Chinese medicine. It includes Chinese medication,
pharmacology/herbalogy, acupuncture, massage and Qigong.
Hospitals in China are classified as specialized in western medical
system, TCM or both. TCM is now available to 75% of the areas in China. TCM has been very
effective in the treatment of diseases such as cardio-cerebro-vascular,
tumors, bone fracture, etc. Scientific research and clinic experiments in TCM are
continuously progressing. Successes have been made in many of the areas such as in
circulating paths of meridians; in Zheng-syndrome, in diagnostic indexes; in therapeutic
principles, in healing emergency patients with shock, acute DIC, acute myocardial
infarction and acute renal failure. For treatment of bone fracture, method is adopted
based on the theory of combination of mobilization and immobilization. Non-antibacterial
compound prescriptions are used successfully in treatment of bacterial infection. In
treatment of cancers, Fuzheng Guben compound prescriptions, though devoid of inhibitory
effects on cancer cells, could cause the shrink of the mass of cancer. TCM provides a
non-surgical approach to the treatment of acute abdomen.
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Acupuncture anesthesia and acupuncture analgesia has promoted the
acupuncture therapy to the world. Since the founding of the World Federation of
Acupuncture and Moxibustion Societies (WFAS) in 1987,Chinese specialists in acupuncture
have been selected three times as the chairman of the Federation. They have made
outstanding contributions to the promotion and development of acupuncture.
Traditional Chinese Material Medica (TCMM) now becomes of a new
branch in TCM. In the 80's, remarkable results were achieved in the research on natural
and traditional drugs. The extraction of Qinghaosu from Chinese drugs was seen as a
breakthrough in research on anti-malarial remedies. Researches on Qinghaosu and treatment
of urinary system with Chinese drugs have been awarded the Albert Einstein World Science
Award. With the transformation of TCMM, it will open up a new path to find new drugs and
new treatments. In order to ensure the quality and supply of crude drugs, more than 600
production bases and 13,000 farms have been set up. There are more than 800 pharmaceutical
factories of Chinese drugs with annual production over 400,000 tons in more than 5,000
Universities and colleges in China are providing degree and diploma
courses in TCM. It takes seven years of university education to complete a Doctoral degree
in TCM. Cross education in both TCM and western system are provided to medical students
with major in either one of the systems. Professional training is offered at night school
or through corresponding courses.
The attitude towards traditional Chinese medicine and pharmacy
across the world is changing. A large number of specialists in TCM have been invited by
countries in Asia, Europe, America and others to give lectures on TCM or to conduct
activities in TCM therapy and scientific research. In China, among the foreign students in
natural sciences, those who major in traditional Chinese medicine accounts for the highest
percentage. World Health Organization has established 7 collaborating centers of
traditional medicine and pharmacology. International training centers have been set up in
Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanjing and Xiame rsonnel from over the
world. Colleges of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture have been founded in
France, US, Italy and Australia. An institute of TCM theoretical research has been set up
in the Munich University of Germany. Cooperation in TCM has been established between China
and Japan, the United State and Germany.
There are fundamental differences in TCM and the western medical
system. With some understanding of Chinese culture and philosophies, it may help one to
see through and start to appreciate the value of TCM.