Who made traditional chinese medicine

Medical History: The Amazing Return of Traditional Chinese Medicine

The chance to deal seriously and soberly with history and to combine the meaningful ideas and practices with the useful parts of Western medicine is against all those who understand TCM as an expression of a worldview that needs to be sharply delimited from biomedicine. And this is exactly where the politics of China comes into play again, which is active on two fronts: at home and in western countries.

At first, Chinese politicians were only surprised that “the West” was interested in something that they wanted to get rid of as quickly as possible. But then they discovered an export potential for Chinese pharmaceutical products. The TCM universities were given the opportunity to earn an incredible amount of money with the simplest teaching courses from trusting Westerners. And finally those responsible in China also recognized the danger that threatened the Western enthusiasm for TCM as an alternative to conventional medicine.

China's fear of the return of Chinese medicine

100 years ago China was still the plaything of the western imperial powers. The Asian country was humiliated even by little Japan because it still reveled in yin-yang or five-phase theories for too long. All politicians in China agreed on this that you cannot make a cell phone ring, a lamp shine, and certainly not a rocket to take off.

The sensitive and intelligent young people in the West who turn away from the natural sciences and follow Chinese traditions will not be Einstein, nor will they be Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. They are simply irrelevant to scientific and technological progress. But it is a threatening scenario for the local authorities, even if there are more and more voices in their country calling for a return to the old concepts. Not surprisingly, they see this as the foundation for a renewed weakening of China in the competition of civilizations.

So it may come as a surprise that there are still campaigns from the Chinese side who want to fight for TCM to become even more important in Europe. Such activities are understandable out of a purely commercial interest. China wants to remove the restrictions that stand in the way of the increased export of its finished TCM drugs to Europe. But in the second place they are an effort to enforce the modern Chinese interpretation in the West as well. According to this, TCM is now a component of modern medicine, based on the biological sciences and provided with a purely molecular-biological legitimation. Only in this way, the authorities suspect, can the spark of TCM as an alternative to modern science jump from the West to China and cause a wildfire there.

The Beijing Declaration on TCM from 2007 and the Bologna Declaration from 2012 are committed to precisely this goal. At first glance it might be absurd when the Chinese side emphasizes that Chinese medicine is so closely linked to Chinese culture that it can only be learned in China and by the Chinese - then one could also do the same for that which emerged from European culture western medicine claim. Behind this demand is nothing but the fear of losing control over future developments.

The West has so far responded very differently to TCM. Those groups that focus on Chinese medicine as an alternative to the unpopular Western medicine contrast with those trying to explore the "reality" of the effects of acupuncture and medicinal drugs from China.

The many deficits of so-called conventional medicine and the therapeutic successes of alternative or complementary therapies are only part of the reasons that TCM, like Ayurveda and other healing customers from foreign, mostly Eastern cultures (but also from the history of Europe) persistently assert themselves can.

The debate about the sense or nonsense of TCM and acupuncture is culturally and socio-psychologically complex. It affects not only purely technical, but also ideological, political and commercial aspects of the health care system and will therefore remain beyond a purely sober consideration for a long time to come.