Traditional Chinese medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (or TCM) refers to the theories and practises of diagnosis and healing developed historically in China. Its influence spread to neighbouring countries such as Korea and Japan, and largely shaped their traditional medicine. More recently, TCM has become popular as an alternative medicine in Europe and North America.
 In China
Like much Chinese lore, such as feng shui and the martial arts, Chinese medicine is based on the qi (or chi) principle of energy. Qi is said to be channelled through a complex system of meridians in the body, and illnesses are believed to be related to blocked or unbalanced flow of qi. Common treatments include acupressure, acupuncture, reflexology, herbal medicine, and acupuncture bloodletting. Diagnosis can involve pulse analysis.
Traditional medicine was standardised in mainland China under the People's Republic of China, and earlier medicine is sometimes referred to as Classical Chinese Medicine. TCM continues to be widely practised, supported and studied in China, and is often integrated with scientific (or "Western") medicine. There are many universities of Chinese medicine in China, some being regarded as among the best medical universities of any kind in the country.
 In the West
Traditional Chinese medicine has become popular in North America and Europe during recent decades, largely due to the growing popularity of CAM (Complimentary and Alternative Medicine) and the New Age preoccupation with other Eastern woo such as feng shui, Chinese astrology, Reiki and Zen Buddhism. As with most of these fads, the most common variants of TCM popularised in the west tend to be simplified and bastardised versions of authentic TCM, and are often bundled with other forms of CAM. For example, Chinese medicine centres in the UK and USA often offer non-Chinese complimentary therapies such as hypnotherapy and homeopathy, alongside Chinese herbalism and acupuncture.
 Environmental impact
In TCM, endangered species such as rhinos, sharks, seahorses, manta rays, and tigers are highly prized; rhino horns are considered panaceas which can cure everything from arthritis to cancer (even though they can't). Poachers hunt these animals for their body parts, which they sell to TCM users. TCM is directly contributing to the extinction of endangered species, because of unjustified belief in ineffective remedies.
- http://www.amfoundation.org/tcm.htm - Alternative Medicine Foundation's TCM page. A good overview and a fairly extensive list of other TCM resources.
- ↑ http://www.amfoundation.org/tcm.htm#BASIC%20PRINCIPLES
- ↑ Chinese Medicine Driving Rhinos to Extinction, Yahoo! News.
- ↑ Alternative Medicine Threatans Beasts with Extinction, LiveScience.
- ↑ Unproven Chinese Medicine Killing Manta Rays, Discovery News.