Effectiveness of Chinese medicine

[color=#0000FF]Mod’s note: this was split from forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtop … 0#p1648345[/color]

You do, of course, know that acupuncture and most “Chinese medicine” is pure quackery and relies heavily on the placebo effect?

Snake oil. :2cents:

Much like feng shi, it’s superstition.

There is no “qi”. There is no “yin-yang”.

There are no ghosts.

It’s a tragedy that the uneducated and poor are taken in by this sophistry. Heart-breaking, really.

But carry on selling your nefarious wares to the gullible and unwary. :bow:

[quote=“jimipresley”]You do, of course, know that acupuncture and most “Chinese medicine” is pure quackery and relies heavily on the placebo effect?
Snake oil. :2cents:
Much like feng shi, it’s superstition.
There is no “qi”. There is no “yin-yang”.
There are no ghosts.
It’s a tragedy that the uneducated and poor are taken in by this sophistry. Heart-breaking, really.
But carry on selling your nefarious wares to the gullible and unwary. :bow:[/quote]

HI jimipresley,

Thanks for your reply. I’m grateful for your sharing what you think of acupuncture and herbal medicine. Judging from your words, you might not know a lot about TCM and what we do. And you started saying harsh words on TCM and us practicianers. It is understandable for you to have such bad feelings against TCM. Why not spend some time getting to know more about TCM and after that, we could have a peaceful reasoning on it. Don’t just deride TCM. I admit that TCM needs to be renovated and validated in a way most people can accept. However, with nowadays technology, we haven’t prove them all yet. I’m not saying TCM can cure all kinds of diseases, neither can modern medicine. The most important is, we have to know our advantages as well as our limits so that we can provide patients more choices.

You could go take a look at some reply I posted earlier. There’s a TED talk about invisible things. Yin-yang is not something you can see, it’s a concept. It help our ancestors to better know this world and form the essence part of TCM theory.

Your harsh words are appreciated, letting us know more about how someone might think of TCM. However, I want to quote a paragraph from 論語 (Confucian Analects) as a metaphor:[color=#0000FF]叔孫武叔毀仲尼。子貢曰:“無以爲也!仲尼不可毀也。他人之賢者,丘陵也,猶可踰也。仲尼,日月也,無得而踰焉。人雖欲自絕,其何傷於日月乎?多見其不知量也!”[/color]

You might not understand these words because it’s not written in vernacular Chinese, it’s written in classical Chinese. Just like you might not know how TCM can be helpful because you don’t understand it and you don’t even try to understand. Ask your Taiwanese friend about this paragraph, if you want to know what I’m saying. The fact is, TCM does help lots of people, especially people in the east. And as modern medicine meets some “bottleneck” in treating some diseases, more and more western countries put emphasis on doing research on TCM. Here’s some information about the integrated medicine center in US: (I just google and pick the first link) holisticmedicine.org/content … ntentid=74
There are approximately 30 of integrated medicine center in US, most of them belongs to University medical school. If it’s all about placebo effect, no one would spend so much money on this useless medicine. I believe the world has already seen something precious in TCM and they’re trying to know more about them. It’s not easy because they’re all written in classical Chinese. And it’s hard to measure “blood, qi, yin, yang” in a scientific way. Nevertheless, NEJM has already accept an original article about how Tai-chi can help with Fibromyalgia in 2010. ( nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0912611 )
In this clinical study, no blood was withdrawn, no image study was done, only questionnaires. And it was published on the best medical journal. I’m glad that people from all over the world are finding new ways to approach TCM. If we live long enough, we might be able to see how modern medicine transform into a brand new integrated one.

The world is way larger than you thought, if you’re willing to open your mind to embrace it. I’m still trying, too.
Stay hungry, stay foolish.

1 Like

Modern medicine can and does cure all kinds of disease. We know this due to the existence of clinical trials demonstrating effects that are significant and repeatable for all kinds of treatments and diseases.

The issue here is not whether jimipresley (or anyone else) has spent enough time getting to know TCM. Rather the issue is: have TCM treatments been demonstrated to have an effect on their patients? The way that medical science demonstrates that medicines work is by running controlled clinical trials. If there are no clinical trials, or after having run multiple clinical trials we are unable to demonstrate that a given treatment works, then we must assume the null hypothesis (namely that the treatment probably doesn’t work).

If they cannot be measured scientifically with physical instruments then they cannot be measured at all.

In other words, they don’t exist.

Astrology also “helps” lots of people, but it also has never been demonstrated to work.

People also spend billions of dollars on homeopathic remedies. But homeopathic medicines do not work, and are based on pseudoscientific concepts that have no basis in reality.

Which bears no relation to whether a medicine is or is not effective. There are plenty of extremely smart people to translate these texts into modern Chinese and English, so this is irrelevant to the point.

As the saying goes: “keep your mind open, but not so open that your brain falls out.”

If acupuncture (and other TCM therapies) worked, then the world of medicine would be happy to embrace it. Most doctors are willing to use a medicine or treatment if it can be shown that the medicine is effective and can help their patients.

However, the fact is that acupuncture has been the subject of thousands of clinical trials, and millions of dollars have been thrown at the problem of trying to understand if and how acupuncture works. After all these trials, and decades of work by thousands of researchers, no-one has been able to demonstrate that acupuncture has a significant effect beyond placebo.

For anyone interested to learn more, I would encourage them to research it for themselves. Don’t take my word for it. Alternatively (for those short of time) there is a handy summary of the evidence at the following page: sciencebasedmedicine.org/acu … esnt-work/

A quote:

If you work in the hospital like me, you’ll know that what you said isn’t true. Not every diseases can be “cured” with modern medicine. We get 50-70 consult patients from modern medicine departments monthly in TSGH. One third of them are cancer patients, one third are from neurology or neurosurgery, rehabilitation department. I’m not saying TCM is the best, we have to know when to use what tools to treat the patient. I’m glad I learned both.

[quote=“外星人”]
The issue here is not whether jimipresley (or anyone else) has spent enough time getting to know TCM. Rather the issue is: have TCM treatments been demonstrated to have an effect on their patients? The way that medical science demonstrates that medicines work is by running controlled clinical trials. If there are no clinical trials, or after having run multiple clinical trials we are unable to demonstrate that a given treatment works, then we must assume the null hypothesis (namely that the treatment probably doesn’t work). [/quote]
I agree. but did you know that most of the clinical trials in TCM are not the case we normally do in clinical practice? if you ever conducted a clinical trial, you’ll know that the result of the trials can only be use on the same type of patients included. The thing is, we treat patients based on their indivisual difference. (Please go back to read what I posted earlier.) We won’t prescribe same herbal medicine on other patients with same disease, because there must be some body constitution difference, which we value a lot. Don’t use the frame of western medicine, which you’re familiar with since you were born, on TCM. They are two totally different medicine in basic theory and treatment concept. If the clinical trial can’t be sophisticatedly designed to match the clinical practice, the result of the clinical can only be a reference. Don’t magnify the result to “useless” on all other conditions. The quality of RCT can be good, but the experiment can be poorly designed, not matching clinical situation, which is often the case. When doing acupuncture, we will choose the acupoint according to the individual patient’s condition. However, in most RCT trials, the patient with the same diagnosis accept the same acupoints, no matter how different their body constitutions are. How can you jump into the conclusion so fast that TCM doesn’t work just because you’ve read some liimted RCTs with negative result or placebo effect?

[quote=“外星人”]If they cannot be measured scientifically with physical instruments then they cannot be measured at all.
In other words, they don’t exist.[/quote]
What makes you jump into this conclusion so fast? (I’m curious about your educational background.) Have you ever conduct a research?
Can you measure how angry a person is? You can’t. But when you see someone gets angry, you know how angry they are, right?
Can you also say that anger doesn’t exist because you can’t measure it?
When you feel happy, you know how happy you are, right? Sometimes happier, sometimes less happy. You’re doing the measure I’m talking about. It’s not that yin and yang can’t be measured. It can be measure by a well-trained TCM doctor from the symptoms and signs of patients. That’s why we feel the pulse and see tongue and ask lots of questions, trying to get the best data we could get to analyze the balance of yin and yang and other important variables, which Modern medicine doctors usually won’t do because of different fundamental theories. This is also the reason why TCM is harder to learn than modern medicine. (Most of the graduates agree.)

Astrology also “helps” lots of people, but it also has never been demonstrated to work.[/quote]

Frankly speaking, it’s not my purpose trying to debate with you at this website. I know that people who don’t believe TCM or see TCM as nonsense probably won’t change their attitudes for the rest of their lives. Like astrology you just mentioned, I don’t believe astrology, but I won’t tell others it doesn’t work, since I haven’t fully understand it. That’s the attitude I’m talking about. If we do some research, I believe we can find lots of information on the internet telling us the supportive or negative view of lots of things. I think I’ve said a lot about how we TCM works (not just acupuncture, but also herbal medicine, Tai-chi, Qi-gong), I really don’t want to debate with anyone here whether it’s effective or not. I just want to address that it’s another choice. It’s something that we practiced for thousands of years and we think there’s something useful in what we do, which can’t be substituted by modern medicine. Thanks for your reply. We’ll do our best to benefit people who’s willing to give TCM a try. Let’s wait and see. Have a nice day! Gotta keep on working!

I believe certain parts of Chinese medicine have their merits, and it’s good to have info for an English-speaking clinic available out in Neihu and elsewhere. Farther than I’d like to travel but it might be something others would like to check out.

Question for joey0825: are TCM practitioners capable of treating Westerner people as well? Since a lot of the methods have been developed over so many years for Taiwanese/Chinese/Asian patients, I’m curious to know if you’ve also had any success with Western patients.

I’ve been to a Chinese medicine doctor before and he was pretty good in asking questions about my habits and body. He took my pulse and I assumed got an indication of what state my body was in. Just wondering if there are certain environmental factors that are considered when looking at Western patients. For example, I’ve been in Taiwan for 10+ years but I grew up in a continental climate with 4 seasons. Might be a strange assumption but I’m curious to know if a doctor would be able to decipher that type of info when reading my signs.

If you have any case studies showing how you’ve successfully treated Western patients, that could help people relate to the benefits that TCM might offer.

If you work in the hospital like me, you’ll know that what you said isn’t true. Not every diseases can be “cured” with modern medicine.[/quote]
I never claimed that every disease can be cured with modern medicine. I only claimed that there are diseases that can be cured. “All kinds of disease” is not the same as “all diseases”. (Perhaps my English could be better phrased, but “all kinds” is intended to be read as equivalent to 各種各樣.)

[quote=“joey0825”]The thing is, we treat patients based on their indivisual difference. (Please go back to read what I posted earlier.) We won’t prescribe same herbal medicine on other patients with same disease, because there must be some body constitution difference, which we value a lot. Don’t use the frame of western medicine, which you’re familiar with since you were born, on TCM.
[/quote]
Using the term “western medicine” is unrepresentative, as it ignores the contributions made by thousands of researchers in the East. Medical science is a global pursuit, and contributions are made from all corners of the Earth. You also presuppose my frame of reference, which again bears no relation to the truth (or otherwise) of my arguments!

What we are concerned about here is discriminating between “evidence-based treatments” and “treatments for which there is not yet any evidence”.

Quite true. If the clinical trial doesn’t match clinical practice, then we can’t rule out the possibility that the clinical practice is having some effect.

However, the reverse is also true: if the existing clinic trials only test treatments that differ substantially from those treatments used in actual clinical practice, then we can’t say with any certainty that those treatments used in practice are actually effective.

How do you know that your treatments are effective?

The burden of proof here lies with the person making the claim that the treatment is effective. If there is no evidence either way, then we really can’t assume anything at all, and it would be dishonest to claim with certainty that the treatment is effective. (You would at best only be able to claim that the treatment “might” be effective.)

If all the existing RCTs are poorly designed, or don’t take into account the individual’s condition, or don’t match what’s actually done in clinical practice, then why not take part in producing better RCTs? Specifically, we need well-designed RCTs with large sample sizes that show clinically-significant effects in large numbers of people. If you are confident that these treatments work, then I would encourage you to take part in this effort. The world needs more evidence-based therapies.

[quote=“joey0825”][quote]If they cannot be measured scientifically with physical instruments then they cannot be measured at all.
In other words, they don’t exist.[/quote]
What makes you jump into this conclusion so fast? (I’m curious about your educational background.) Have you ever conduct a research?[/quote]
My own educational background is surely irrelevant to the truth (or otherwise) of my arguments.

You are claiming there is some physical effect. I am claiming that if you are unable to use physical devices to measure that effect, then there is no good reason to suppose that the effect exists.

Becoming angry is a behaviour that can be observed in the real world, and also a physical and chemical effect that occurs within the brain. Because it is a physical effect, we can observe and even measure anger with physical (and chemical) tools. Obviously anger is a very complicated effect, and our present tools obviously fall short of measuring all the subtleties of what happens in the brain when a person experiences anger, but in principle there is no reason to believe that those subtleties cannot be measured at least in principle, and eventually in practice (assuming that technology progresses and that there is enough research motivation to measure anger).

[quote]Can you also say that anger doesn’t exist because you can’t measure it?
When you feel happy, you know how happy you are, right? Sometimes happier, sometimes less happy. You’re doing the measure I’m talking about. It’s not that yin and yang can’t be measured. It can be measure by a well-trained TCM doctor from the symptoms and signs of patients.[/quote]

If yin and yang can be measured by a well-trained TCM doctor, then the TCM doctor is presumably relying on physical evidence when conducting their measurement. (It should be obvious that if there is no physical evidence, then the doctor hasn’t measured anything.) If this physical evidence can be measured, then presumably it can be measured in a repeatable way, and then studied at scale.

Actually, I would be very happy to see TCM succeed – if it could be shown that its treatments were effective. I have no inherent dislike for one treatment or another. Whether it comes from the East or the West is not important to me. I care only about the evidence, and what works.

If you are sure that acupuncture works, then please supply concrete statistical evidence that it works! If there is currently not enough evidence, then the world is entitled to be sceptical, and your protestations to the contrary (“it cannot be measured physically”, “trials cannot be designed to adequately cover all the cases”) will not convince people who are looking at the evidence.

People are sceptical because they care about truth and intellectual honesty. Those sceptics who are truly scientifically-minded will readily change their mind on production of evidence that contradicts their position: such people are genuinely happy to be proven wrong. If evidence should appear that strongly supports the efficacy of acupuncture (or any other TCM therapy), those sceptics will become your greatest allies.

Removed because the moderator split the thread which was the point of the post.

Just for the record, I’m a Chinese medicine naysayer as well, but I’m planning to visit a zhongyi doctor soon because the hospital has told me they have absolutely no idea what has been making me miserable for a month and a half and I’m out of luck.

You have to separate what a Chinese medicine practitioner says from what your average Zhou, Lin, and Wang say. Back home, any doctor in his right mind will tell you that you do not catch a cold virus because it’s cold outside, but that has never stopped mothers across the United States from telling their kids to bundle up and wear a hat or they’ll get sick. It’s the same way in Taiwan: I take whatever people on the street tell me with a grain of salt because they don’t have a medical degree. If someone with a degree tells me something, I’ll treat it as a serious comment.

[quote=“Hokwongwei”]Just for the record, I’m a Chinese medicine naysayer as well, but I’m planning to visit a zhongyi doctor soon because the hospital has told me they have absolutely no idea what has been making me miserable for a month and a half and I’m out of luck.

[/quote]

Yes this is the kind of space where I’d say, why not. I don’t accept it at full face value, but I don’t totally discount it either. My one experience with it (in a similar situation) didn’t work out, but neither did Western medicine so no points lost. I had to figure that one out myself lol. Hope you feel better soon.

I had my little finger curl up on my right hand for no reason at all. I went to the normal doctor and she gave a prescription which had limited effect. After about 2 months a friend suggested I try acupuncture. As a complete skeptic I refused, but eventually gave in as I figured I wasn’t going to lose anything by it. One session and it was back to normal. The doctor didn’t even touch my finger, but spent 5 minutes stabbing my arm. A few hours later, although very sore, I was able to straighten my finger and it has been OK ever since.
Placebo effect or not, it was a positive outcome and therefore a successful method of treatment in this case.

[quote=“外星人”]
Quite true. If the clinical trial doesn’t match clinical practice, then we can’t rule out the possibility that the clinical practice is having some effect.
However, the reverse is also true: if the existing clinic trials only test treatments that differ substantially from those treatments used in actual clinical practice, then we can’t say with any certainty that those treatments used in practice are actually effective.
How do you know that your treatments are effective?[/quote]

Because patient came back and told us they’re getting better.
Because their lab data came back to normal. Because they notice some difference.
You probably know that even nowadays, lots of drugs (especially antibiotics) were prescribed without the evidence you want. For example, the use of some antibiotics are not evidence supported. The bacteria make evolution so fast that there’s not enough time for scientist to do RCTs to prove that it works on certain conditions. When we view the chart of the consult patient from other modern medicine department, we see “emperical” use of antibiotics in their “plan to do” very frequently. If you’re infected, let’s say pneumonia combine urinary tract infection, and you insist that you’ll wait until scientists publish clinical trials that will prove the combination of these antibiotics suits your condition (say underling hypertension, DM), you probably will die from a common infection that can be cured with empiric therapy.

[quote=“外星人”]
The burden of proof here lies with the person making the claim that the treatment is effective. If there is no evidence either way, then we really can’t assume anything at all, and it would be dishonest to claim with certainty that the treatment is effective. (You would at best only be able to claim that the treatment “might” be effective.)[/quote]

I probably see the key point now. All you’re asking is evidence. Without evidence, there’s no way we can claim that the treatment is effective. That’s your whole point, right?

What if I told you, there’s a medical theory that had been created 2000 years ago, and this theory has been refined, revised since then. During this long period of time, this theory had been guided us to use herbal medicine and acupuncture, moxibustion (also Qi-gong to prevent disease) as tools to treat patients and the feedback is often positive. And we are confident that if the patient is cured, we know exactly why. We know how we did it and we can reproduce the result in other patients with the same condition. If the patient’s not getting better, we also know why and we can adjust the prescription according to this medical theory. TCM is not empirical medicine. There’s a sound theory in this medical system, just that you might not be familiar with. If there is no theory to guide us, I’ll be just a technician, not a doctor. When we treat a patient, we have to make diagnosis according to the patients’ condition and then give the corresponding treatment. What matters the most is diagnosis as well as what we called “病機 (TCM pathogenesis)”, not the herbs or the acupoint we use. As long as the diagnosis is made and the TCM pathogenesis is clear, treatment is not too hard.

[quote=“外星人”]
If yin and yang can be measured by a well-trained TCM doctor, then the TCM doctor is presumably relying on physical evidence when conducting their measurement. (It should be obvious that if there is no physical evidence, then the doctor hasn’t measured anything.) If this physical evidence can be measured, then presumably it can be measured in a repeatable way, and then studied at scale.[/quote]

I think the misunderstand came from the different acknowledge of yin and yang between you and me. Of course we need physical evidence to measure yin, yang, qi, blood and so forth. Maybe yin and yang are too abstract for most people to understand. We do measure the physical evidence with our sense organ (望聞問切Inspection, Auscultation-olfaction, Interrogation, Palpation), just that you call them temperature, electrolyte, tidal volume, left ventricular ejection fraction, etc. but we call them yin, yang, qi, blood, jing, yi, ying, etc.

I have to mention that most people don’t believe TCM, not even some Taiwanese. For now, almost every big hospital in Taiwan has TCM department except National Taiwan University Hospital, some doctors just haven’t ready to accept TCM as an alternative medicine yet. I’m not saying TCM is almighty. I’m not saying we can cure all diseases. We have to know our advantages and limits.

Most patients came to us because of some reasons below:

  1. They don’t want to take chemical synthesis pills, they want something more natural.
  2. Modern medicine can no longer help them.
  3. Modern medicine do all the exams and tests, all negative (normal), but patient’s symptom remained. (something can’t be measured)
    → one common example is the feeling of something stock in the throat. no visual lesion, no phlegm, no inflammation, etc.
  4. Some patients are transferred or consulted from modern medicine doctors.
  5. Side effect of drugs, Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, etc.
  6. Adjust their body constitution after surgery, delivery, trauma, etc.

Even someone came to my clinic room and told me because he’s going to Tibet and he want some herbs to prevent from acute mountain sickness. Modern medicine are mostly high dose pure compound whereas TCM herbal medicine are all low dose mixtures, formulas. We TCM doctors do nothing but give our body a little trigger with low dose herbs to make the body adjust themselves back to balance. Modern medicine use high dose pure compound to fight against the invaders or block some pathway. These are the main different treatment strategies between TCM and modern medicine.

Thanks for your reply, I hope after my explanation, you could know more about TCM.
I want to say that although I can speak English, typing these still takes me some time. I’ll try to reply all posts, answer all questions, but this has already taken some time from my real job duty, which is not the main original purpose for me to be here. I’ll still find some time to reply, though. Forgive my late reply, please be patient. Thank you all!

I screwed up my back while twisting wrong in my chair one day. I twisted and all of a sudden, I felt strange in my right knee. A few seconds later and I was unable to bend my right leg at all. My knee was locked up. I went to the Western medicine hospital and they did NOTHING and I mean NOTHING for me. The doctor took one look at it and referred me to physical therapy, who also did zero for it. They attached some gizmo to my leg and gave me little shocks. No change and i left the hospital in pain.
My wife’s family suggested I see their personal witch doctor (what I was thinking) – a Chinese bone setter with no degree at all but who had learned his “art” from his dad. He took one look at me and said he could fix me. He popped all sorts of stuff in my back and 10:00 later, I got off the table completely pain free and back to normal. After that, I realized if it works, it works.
Since then, I’ve had friends trained in TCM help me with elbow tendonitis and other stuff via acupuncture. TCM doesn’t do everything, just like Western medicine but I now keep it open as an option. Why not?
Not all truth comes out of a test tube.

This book is an excellent introduction to TCM: The Web That Has No Weaver by Ted Kaptchuk. It was recommended to me by a former flobber while I was going through some health stuff.

Placebo effect? Dunno. What difference does it make, at the end of the day?

amazon.com/The-Web-That-Weav … 0809228408

[quote=“rocky raccoon”]I believe certain parts of Chinese medicine have their merits, and it’s good to have info for an English-speaking clinic available out in Neihu and elsewhere. Farther than I’d like to travel but it might be something others would like to check out.
Question for joey0825: are TCM practitioners capable of treating Westerner people as well? Since a lot of the methods have been developed over so many years for Taiwanese/Chinese/Asian patients, I’m curious to know if you’ve also had any success with Western patients. [/quote]
Thank you rocky raccoon, there might be slightly different in treating Eastern and Westerner people with TCM.
Take modern medicine for example, studies have shown that the effect of some drugs is different in different races. The gene difference between races are obvious. What’s more, we believe the variable is not only gene but also the life style we get used to. For example, the diet habit is different in the east and west, the initial management (before going to see doctors) toward some sort of diseases are different. There are multiple factors, which will affect our body and change the body constitution. However, more and more acupuncturists from the east have been practice TCM in eastern countries. Generally speaking, although there might be some difference between races, it seems to be also effective in treating Westerner people with TCM.

[quote=“rocky raccoon”]I’ve been to a Chinese medicine doctor before and he was pretty good in asking questions about my habits and body. He took my pulse and I assumed got an indication of what state my body was in. Just wondering if there are certain environmental factors that are considered when looking at Western patients. For example, I’ve been in Taiwan for 10+ years but I grew up in a continental climate with 4 seasons. Might be a strange assumption but I’m curious to know if a doctor would be able to decipher that type of info when reading my signs.
If you have any case studies showing how you’ve successfully treated Western patients, that could help people relate to the benefits that TCM might offer.[/quote]

Good question! In TCM theory, there are six external factors which cause diseases: 風、寒、暑、濕、燥、火 (wind, cold, summer heat, humidity, dryness and fire). For example, if a patient works in the kitchen all day long, chances are that he get influenced by dryness and fire more easily. If a patient travels to a dessert, chances are that he get dryness more easily. These factors are sometimes quite obvious. However, it’s not only the external factors that count, there must also some “deficiency” in the patient’s righteous Qi. (正氣存內,邪不可干) That’s why when exposed to some external factors, not all people will be influenced. This is the basic theory of TCM.

As for the case study, here’s some information from NCCAOM that might be related: nccaom.org/effectiveness-of- … ne-studies.
I personally only treated 1-2 foreigners in TSGH. Not enough cases to make any conclusion. That’s also why I’m here. Not only because I want to introduce TCM to foreigners in Taiwan, but also want to accumulate some experience treating difference races patients. Thanks for your reply. I hope the answer is helpful.

Nothing about viruses or bacteria?

About fifteen years ago,a very close friend of mine had some kind of viral infection that affected her nervous system. Every test possible, multiple doctors and specialists and the diagnosis was paralysis at best but it was likely to be fatal. Nothing they could do, no cure possible. She went to a TCM doctor in Melbourne and within a week or so was cured, and within a month back to full strength. She’s now in her forties and healthier than ever.

[quote=“antarcticbeech”]
Nothing about viruses or bacteria?[/quote]

Of course there are virus and bacteria, just that in ancient times, there is no microscope, so they don’t know the existence of these microorganisms. However, they notice the result (symptom and sign) of virus and bacteria, and they called the reason to be ”疫,毒”,etc.(do not translate these words directly, you should read TCM textbooks about the meaning.) and describe the symptoms in detail. For example, as we all know, bacteria will cause infection, and lead to inflammation. The process of inflammation is categorized into “火熱證” (Fire and heat symptom pattern), and we use some herbs that can clear away heat, dispel fire. These herbal medicine are: 金銀花、龍膽草、石膏、知母,etc. Most of them are later proved to be efficient in killing certain bacteria or viruses.

Since the theory is totally different in between TCM and modern medicine, the dialogue bridge is “symptom and sign.” Just that they interpret these phenomenon in a totally different way, therefore lead to different treatment.

That’s not really the focus of Chinese medicine, as I understand it. It is more meant to treat chronic symptoms and improve overall health. That’s why even old Taiwanese people, who are typically very stubborn when it comes to this thing, very readily accept Western medicine – they realize that Chinese medicine (assuming it is as effective as claimed) has its limits. So people may go to see a zhongyi in addition to their cancer treatments, but nobody would say “I’d rather not see a Western medicine doctor” to treat their cancer.

With a smile, free after Tim Minchin:
“By definition, i begin, alternative(TC) medicine, i continue, has either not been proven to or been proved
not to work. Do you know what they call alternative(TC) medicine that’s been proved to work?
Medicine.” :discodance:

Seems there is also some ignorance/misconception about the “Placebo effect” in this thread…

Got 10min to spare? It is quite entertaining:

Don’t we have a rule against usernames in kanji? And here’s two of them already.

Anyway.

acupuncture does work in some situations, but not for the reasons that acupuncturists believe it does. A kind of “serendipitous cure”, if you like.

Same for much of Chinese herbal medicine: there;'s some drug in the extract that may be new to Western medicine. But Western medicine soon finds out, in many cases, and develops it as a proper treatment, with controlled dosage and awareness of the actual physiology going on. It’s removing the mumbo-jumbo from the folk-medicine, and showing its true colours.

Plus there’s the placebo effect, of course. That’s pretty strong as well.