[quote=“Scuba”]This is interesting ,could you give an example of the “ample evidence”.
ie a double blind ,placebo controlled trial that shows a statistically significant benefit for a Chinese medicine treatment versus placebo.[/quote]
Of course double blind tests are the way to go. Nobody’s arguing with you there. If you are serious about looking into this then I suggest you look for the research on chronic skin problems such as excema treated under a regime of Chinese herbs. The results have been particularly significant with that.
Huang Guang Chen makes an excellent point. Isolation, testing and studying particular active ingredients is in itself not research into Chinese medicine, beneficial though it may be. A herbal doctor will prescribe a blend of maybe six herbs which are designed to work together. That’s one of the key plus points made about TCM; that when used properly it doesn’t have the side effects that are often found in western medicine, because the latter uses isolated ingredients in high-strength doses.
In general, it’s said that western medicine is often most effective for acute diseases and TCM for chronic ones.
It puzzles some people to know that I believe that some uses of TCM can be very effective, but that I also believe in scientific method and testing. Actually it is not as contradictory as it seems. The foundations of TCM are that most fundamental of scientific methods; trial and error or experiment and observation. The sticking point comes when scientific theories are not adequate to explain observations. This, however, would seem to indicate a deficency in the theory rather than anything else.
I know enough western-trained doctors who are supportive of TCM and a few other reputable lines of ‘alternative’ medicine.
Of myself, lest it be assumed that I am talking out of my bottom, I know some little things about clinical research and statistical analysis methods and in particular meta-analysis, the fairly recently developed methodology for combining findings from a number of clinical studies.
I have personally observed some marked successes of TCM and some less dramatic ones as well as situations where it was not certain whether it had any effect at all.
Still, it seems that the anti- brigade are as fervent and dogmatic as some of the more naive supporters of TCM. It would be pointless to try to persuade such people that TCM can be effective, as they equate ‘belief’ in TCM with belief in one of the more way-out new religious movements (‘cults’).
Finally, it’s not an either/or situation. TCM and western medicine are often used successfully in combination, for example in cancer treatment where something like chemotherapy can zap the cancer cells, and TCM can help the body regain strength and balance.