Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
(Simplified Chinese: 中医; traditional Chinece: 中醫; pinyin: zhōng yī: "Chinese medicine") refers to a broad range of medicine practices sharing common theoretical concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 5,000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage (Tui na), exercise (qigong), and dietary therapy. These practices are a common part of medical care throughout East Asia, but are considered alternative medicine in the Western world.
The doctrines of Chinese medicine are rooted in books such as the Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon and the Treatise on Cold Damage, as well as in cosmological notions like yin-yang and the Fiva Phases. Starting in the 1950s, these precepts were modernized in the People's Republic of China so as to integrate many anatomical and pathological notions from scientific medicine. Nonetheless, many of its assumptions, including the model of the body, or concept of disease, are not supported by modern evidence-based medicine.
TCM's view of the body places little emphasis on anatomical
structures, but is mainly concerned with the identification of
functional entities (which regulate digestion, breathing, aging etc.).
While health is perceived as harmonious interaction of these entities and the outside world, disease is interpreted as a disharmony in interaction. TCM diagnosis consists in tracing symptoms to an underlying disharmony pattern, mainly by palpating the pulse and inspecting the tongue.