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Spreading TCM to scientific community and beyond


#1

Hello all! This is a discussion to discuss how to effectively spread TCM. Some issues regarding the spread and acceptance of TCM:
-many TCM practitioners are not well-trained ( got to college and do not further investigate TCM), so many see TCM as ineffective
-little consistency for TCM treatment in clinical trials as every “disease” has different root causes.

**In the past decade we’ve gone far, but how can we make it a reliable/common practice accepted by the scientific community and general public?


#2

I’m not sure TCM practitioners are poorly trained as you are assuming. In many countries the required training levels are quite high - in the US this is 4 years post-graduate. In many other countries you need to be an MD first with additional training to practice acupuncture. In the US, at least, the training is fairly adequate. Now, any practitioner, as with any art, needs to spend time training with other more experienced practitioners to hone their art - and this along with years of clinical experience will lead to the best clinical results. I don’t think people see TCM as “ineffective” as much as they simply know nothing about it - and that is more of a public/health education issue and less of a perceived practitioner competence issue.

For research there are thousands of quality research articles supporting Chinese Medicine. I write about many of these (all from published journal articles) within the research section of my blog. A simple search of pubmed.gov (the US government website for all published research) will turn up volumes of research. They are not necessarily inconsistent. Just like any research, it depends what you are looking for and what you are trying to verify whether or not it will be useful in a true clinical sense. Some research isn’t all that important in a clinical setting, but gives pointers for ways to enhance your treatments. There are clinical studies what use tcm diagnostics as well - so properly separating out patients with depression, for example, into those with liver qi stagnation, spleen qi deficiency, kidney yang deficiency, etc. and applying appropriate protocols.

As far as acceptance into the “scientific” community - it depends what you mean by that. If you mean big pharma controlled mainstream medicine - in some ways why does it even matter? People generally come to acupuncture after all other options have failed or been limited and then we help them. I’m not sure that’s a bad place to be at. With further systemic “acceptance” you also get insurance overheads, bureaucratic entanglements, etc. all of the things that have MD’s in general practice either leaving or selling their practices out to hospitals.

Now getting this information out to the public is another matter, and important, but so is productive dietary and lifestyle advice and that has proven difficult to disseminate as well. Not that I necessarily think that Chinese Medicine is “truth” - but for the most part the more “true” or natural something is the less people are inclined to show interest systemically anyway. Look at how different the world would be if meditation would be taught in schools and people actually practice for even 10 minutes a day. Considering the ease of that, the science behind that, and the overall lack of acceptance of something so basic and fundamental - the widespread acceptance of Chinese Medicine is not that surprising. It just takes time and people have to be ready to change and be involved with their own health.


#3

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