Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) originated in ancient China and has evolved over thousands of years.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) originated in ancient China and has evolved over thousands of years. TCM practitioners use herbal medicines and various mind and body practices, such as acupuncture and tai chi, to treat or prevent health problems. In the United States, people use TCM primarily as a complementary health approach. This fact sheet provides a general overview of TCM and suggests sources for additional information.

Key References

  • Birdee GS, Wayne PM, Davis RB, et al. T’ai chi and qigong for health: patterns of use in the United States. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2009;15(9):969–973.
  • Chan E, Tan M, Xin J, et al. Interactions between traditional Chinese medicines and Western therapeutics. Current Opinion in Drug Discovery & Development. 2010;13(1):50–65.
  • Kaptchuk TJ. The Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine. 2nd ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2000.
  • Ko RJ. A U.S. perspective on the adverse reactions from traditional Chinese medicines.Journal of the Chinese Medical Association. 2004;67(3):109–116.
  • Li CG, Moyle K, Xue CC. Problems and challenges of Chinese herbal medicine. In: Leung P-C, Xue CC, Cheng Y-C, eds. A Comprehensive Guide to Chinese Medicine. River Edge, NJ: World Scientific Publishing Co.; 2003.
  • Manheimer E, Wieland S, Kimbrough E, et al. Evidence from the Cochrane Collaboration for traditional Chinese medicine therapies. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2009;15(9):1001–1014.
  • O’Brien KA, Xue CC. The theoretical framework of Chinese medicine. In: Leung PC, Xue CC, Cheng YC, eds. A Comprehensive Guide to Chinese Medicine. River Edge, NJ: World Scientific Publishing Co.; 2003.
  • Vickers AJ, Cronin AM, Maschino AC, et al. Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data meta-analysis. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2012;172(19):1444–1453.
  • Xue CC, O’Brien KA. Modalities of Chinese medicine. In: Leung PC, Xue CC, Cheng YC, eds. A Comprehensive Guide to Chinese Medicine. River Edge, NJ: World Scientific Publishing Co.; 2003.

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