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Traditional Chinese Medicine: Is it a Science?

BY: Camila Loew

At Cokare, we are a blend of Eastern and Western health practices. Our philosophy has a strong Eastern influence, yet we take pride in offering you science-backed remedies. The question may arise: is traditional Chinese medicine a science?

The answer may depend on your definition of science: if you are referring to relatively recent technological advances in the West, then in this sense traditional Chinese medicine is not, or rather, it's pre-scientific, as its methods predate Western scientific ways.

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On the other hand, if you consider science as a practice grounded in a very conscientious observation of the world and its processes, led by rational thought, with a consistent logic, which can be communicated to others, the answer definitely changes.

Like Western or biomedicine, Chinese medicine is a body of knowledge with practitioners who measure, describe, diagnose, and treat. The difference lies perhaps in their units of measurement: where biomedicine uses tangible, linear benchmarks, Chinese medicine uses more flexible images of the world.

In this sense, perhaps, it's less scientific as we tend to understand it. A traditional Chinese medicine practitioner must stay aware of subtle processes that exist around and between the linear measurement systems of the West. It is not first and foremost quantitative, but rather focused on the individual and each unique, essential person and their patterns of harmony and disharmony.

Whether it's a strict science or not, beginning in the mid-twentieth century, contemporary researchers in China began to ask themselves whether there traditional practices showed clinical results. After many studies and reports, the answer was a resounding YES. It works. Even for the most modernized Chinese, their traditional medicine has come to be accepted as an effective method.

 

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