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Aims and History of the Institute of Chinese Medicine
. Aims
. History

Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) developed from experiences accumulated over thousands of years in the battle against disease. It is an integral part of a culture that has helped billions of people to both maintain their health and prevent illness. Even before the development of modern Western medicine, a system and philosophy of treatment had been formed, based on comprehensive theories of health care. Furthermore, over the course of its long history, an accumulation of experience in TCM has yielded an unprecedented knowledge in its practical application.

Although modern Western medicine has brought healthier lives and has significantly extended the average lifespan, there is still a lack of knowledge in many areas, leading to deficiency in efficient treatment for certain conditions, including a number of common skin conditions (e.g. eczema, psoriasis and vitiligo), cancer, AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and more. Within TCM, there are varied approaches to all diseases, often with a wide variety of treatments to ease each condition. Western medicine often relieves the symptoms but, rather than identifying and treating the root of the condition, may create new problems. In China, the wide application of TCM has provided evidence of success, without the necessity for a complete understanding of how or why. This evidence and practice is now undergoing rigorous scientific examination in order to explore the physiological basis on which the effectiveness of TCM is founded. Through this research, continuing advances are being made in the improvement of treatments. 

In prescribing treatment for ailments, practitioners in TCM look at the whole person, not just the symptom(s) presented, focusing on psychological as well as physical characteristics. Treatment is therefore geared to the individual and to the root of the problem rather than simply treating a symptom, which is a principal approach in Western medical treatments, sometimes offering only temporary relief or even exacerbating the condition.

Traditional Chinese Medicine can be split into several principal disciplines: Herbal medicine; Acupuncture and Moxibustion; Tui Na; Diet; and Exercise, including Tai Ji and Qi Gong.


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The Institute of Chinese Medicine, 2007