Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient system of health and wellness that looks at your entire body. It’s not a substitute for Western medicine, but it does complement it.
Many people in the West have heard about acupuncture, cupping and herbal teas used to relieve pain or treat colds. But tcm is much more than that — it’s an entire approach to healing, including eating healthy food, exercising and getting plenty of rest.
The key to TCM is its understanding of your body’s qi, also known as life energy. This flow of energy is believed to run throughout the body in invisible channels called meridians.
These meridians connect organs, muscles, bones, nerves, cells and atoms to each other in the body. TCM practitioners believe that when your qi is blocked, you experience illness or disease.
Your meridian network also connects you to your environment, including your family and friends. TCM practitioners can use this connection to help you get back on track with your health.
TCM practitioners rely on herbal products to treat and prevent diseases. These include tinctures, extracts and other liquids or powders from plants that have traditionally been used in Chinese medicine.
Although herbal products can be helpful, they should only be taken as directed by a qualified TCM practitioner. They may not be appropriate for everyone, and they can pose some safety risks.
Acupuncture, a type of acupuncture that uses needles to stimulate acupuncture points, is commonly used for pain relief and stress management. Be sure to consult with a trained TCM practitioner before trying acupuncture.
In the US, most states and the District of Columbia have laws governing acupuncture practice. These laws require a certification from a professional organization, such as the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine or the Accreditation Committee for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
This certification means that the acupuncturist has been approved by the state to practice acupuncture. Acupuncture can be dangerous if the practitioner is not properly trained and licensed.
TCM diagnosis is often subjective, meaning that it can vary based on different practitioners’ experiences and manual evaluation. This can make it difficult to determine the exact diagnoses for different patients.
To improve TCM diagnosis, a scientific and standardized process is needed to achieve more accurate results. A number of computational TCM diagnosis approaches have been developed in recent years, which can identify the appearance representation of a patient and their disease status with minimal manual intervention.
We review the current progress of several computational TCM diagnoses and discuss how these methods can be integrated with clinical data for future research directions.
Our aim is to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of TCM using a standardized method that integrates pharmacochemical studies with metabolomics. This way, we can discover the effective constituents and their underlying mechanisms of the drug.
TCM is an increasingly popular health approach in the United States and around the world. The World Health Organization recently incorporated it into its new global system of medicine, ICD-11, making it more accessible to insurance companies and hospitals.