Traditional Chinese Medicine ‘Energy-Based’ Concepts Debunked

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The driving force behind how we teach and practice Traditional Chinese Medicine here at the clinic revolves around a unique model – TCM is not an ‘energetic’ medicine, it’s a bio-physiological medicine. In short, this is what we call a “flesh and blood” medicine. So why has TCM become known as an energetic form of healthcare?

In the article, “A Review of the Ancient Chinese Medicine Texts”, clinic director Robert Doane and two colleagues, Dr. Marcus Gadau and Xavier Fricker delve into misconceptions surrounding the cornerstone TCM text – the Huang Di Nei Jing. Their results appear in the Journal of Chinese Medicine, the biggest peer-reviewed journal that exists in this field. It’s the TCM equivalent to the Journal of American Medicine.

The article explains problems surrounding two key phrases and concepts intrinsically linked to TCM. The concepts of ‘qi as a lifeforce’, and ‘meridians as vessels of this unseen force’? Those notions – and many more – are responsible for turning this profession into a mystical one. They are down to simple mistranslations of the first TCM textbook. It’s this idea that spurred on the team to reveal the truth behind these errors. If the Western medical model, that develops thanks to evidence-based medicine, is to embrace and work in harmony with heritage medicines, then a real understanding of how those medicines actually work is paramount. As the research concludes:

“For Chinese medicine to further spread and gain in popularity in today’s era of evidence-based medicine (EBM), the dialogue must shift from inaccurate and irrational metaphysics to concepts based on modern day understanding of physiology.”

For more information on this study, you can download the article for free here.

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