Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a well of medical knowledge gained from
over several thousands years of observation, investigation and clinical
experience. TCM has evolved as an empirical medicine and its theories and
treatments have been repeatedly in use and refined over this long period of
time. In the USA, TCM is regarded as an Alternative Medicine by the definition
coined by Center of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institute
of Health.

The history of TCM can be traced back to the New Stone Age over 10,000 years
ago. TCM practices developed in an empirical manner through the observation
of the effects they produced on certain parts of the body and on specific
ailments. Early acupuncture was carried out using sharpened bone fragments
prior to the development of other tools. The first and most important classic text
of TCM had been completed in about 200 BC. This book, known as the Yellow
Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, discussed the theory and philosophy of
TCM as well as the therapeutic benefits of acupuncture, herbs, diet and
exercise. By the Han dynasty (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.), another valuable classic, the
Treatise on Diseases Caused by Cold Factors (Shang Han Lun) had been
written by Zhang Zhongjing. This classic is an authoritative practical guide to the
treatment of illness even to the present day. Another well-known Chinese
medical works is the Materia Medica (Ben Cao Gong Mu), compiled in the Ming
dynasty (1368- 1644 A.D.) by Li Shizhen. This encyclopedic work includes
descriptions of almost 2,000 different kinds of medicines and forms an important
framework for TCM herbology.