RationalWiki's 2018 Fundraiser

There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff — we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.

If everyone seeing this today donates $5, we will meet our goal for 2018.

Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with PayPal Logo.png!

Donations so far: $2835Goal: $5000

Talk:Traditional Chinese medicine

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

What's in the bundle?[edit]

Needs a list of the TCM bundle. Amusing bit: this will include reiki, which is neither traditional nor Chinese - David Gerard (talk) 00:17, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Phrasing of the article?[edit]

I might be mistaken, but this page seems to be the only one specifically about (traditional) Chinese medicine. At the time of this posting, however, the idea seems to be largely from the perspective of the West, with no mention of the (pseudo-scientific) principles it is based upon. So my question is; is this article about Chinese medicine as practiced in China, or is it just about the bastardized, New Age version that was exported to the West? - Gameboy (talk) 01:40, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Both, I would think. Uke Blue 01:46, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
As it says right there in the text, I was thinking mostly of the Western TCM bundle. Which frequently includes non-traditional non-Chinese things like reiki, for example - David Gerard (talk) 10:21, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
This doesn't look well informed or researched. TCM isn't a "Western tag": the Chinese term 中医, meaning the same, is used universally for traditional medical theory & practices in China, not "the Westernised bundle" whatever that means. TCM is still very widely studied & practised in China, not just in "parts where proper medical technology is thin on the ground" but at high profile institutions like Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, where it is usually studied alongside scientific medicine. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:01, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Hey, it's a wiki, here's your accordion ;-) If I'd had lotsa sources this wouldn't be a stub. I do think there is a "TCM" that is a Westernised foreign-branded bundle o' crap. The history of the term would be interesting, if you or anyone has a source - David Gerard (talk) 12:06, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, for the actual Chinese version, I have a few sources on hand, and I can find more. The ideas behind Chinese medicine are far more complex and interesting than our good friends in the New Age movement seem to think.
If only they actually worked... - Gameboy (talk) 17:59, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Endangered animals[edit]

Would this be a good place to talk about all the animals (esp the White Rhino, but hundreds of others) that are being hunted to extinction due to the TCm idea that they will help old chinese men keep their willies up? I think we need such an article/topic, but not sure where to put it.--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 21:22, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Hello, 2-year-old post. I have satisfied your demand, I hope.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 19:14, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Eye of newt and tongue of dog[edit]

Are these TCM remedies? It'd be hilarious if they were.. I recall some 19th century observer comparing TCM to the sort of witchcraft found in Shakespeare--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 00:07, 20 June 2013 (UTC)


There should be something about Mao's role in creating TCM.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 19:14, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

This article so biased[edit]

The writer seems to not be aware of fairly basic information about Chinese medicine, like its empirical roots. Instead, the focus is on extreme examples are not reflective of Traditional Chinese Medicine as a whole. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

And your evidence as to its effectiveness and your proof that there are better examples? Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 07:41, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
I will only address the first point for now. Although the collection of evidence in the past has not been up to the standards of modern science, the categorization of the ingredients are primarily based on experimental notions of what happens to people when ingested. The vocabulary is often taken too literally when viewed by naive critics; when someone has "excess fire", it is not the case that they are literally burning; rather, it is a description of the cluster of symptoms associated with "+fire". For example, the broad "fire" cluster of symptoms consists of swollen epithelial tissues in the nose and mouth, slightly increased body temperature, as well as an increased propensity to bleed in the nose; these are symptoms that empirically co-occur in Chinese people, in whom the evidence was originally gathered. Every food and herb has a number of flags indicating their effects, as expressed in this vocabulary of symptom clusters. Excessive consumption of certain foods have a tendency to lead to symptoms as described by certain clusters. The system is empirical and subjects to updates; for example, chocolate was introduce to China from the West; by observing people after they ingest excess amounts of chocoloate, the chinese medicine community determined that empirically, excess chocolate consumption leads to "+fire".
As for the second point, the primary contributors of this article suffers from observation bias. Most of Chinese medicine is fairly benign, and relies little on scarce resources, like animal body parts. Most likely, the primary contributors receive their information from tabloids and activists who present only the most extreme of evidences to support their points. Of course, this is not a defense, in absolute terms, of the cruelty towards animals that do occur; however, it should be made clear that, in a relative sense, this is not the primary characteristic of Traditional Chinese Medicine.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
So basically you used anecdotal evidence to come to the conclusion that chocolate promotes "fire". Right. And this proves TCM is effective how?--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 01:48, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
This is not a discussion about its effectiveness, which is a separate topic. I am merely stating the fact that it is EMPIRICAL; this is important, and not mentioned in the main article. Also, it is not an anecdote -- I am EXPLAINING something new to you -- please keep an open mind, as there is no "story". I am explaining a new system of describing the effects of various foods on one's body; I make no claims about effectiveness.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
So instead of explaining it to us, why not add a section called "the foundations of TCM" or some such.Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 03:55, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
It doesn't sound very empirical. How can we measure this "+fire"? WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 09:35, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
"Most of Chinese medicine is fairly benign, and relies little on scarce resources, like animal body parts. Most likely, the primary contributors receive their information from tabloids and activists who present only the most extreme of evidences to support their points. Of course, this is not a defense, in absolute terms, of the cruelty towards animals that do occur; however, it should be made clear that, in a relative sense, this is not the primary characteristic of Traditional Chinese Medicine."
But does that actually matter? It's well established fact that the very recent rise in the practice of TCM is the single largest contributor to the wiping out of, for example, the rhino, even though rhino horn has been 100% proven to do jack shit for healing. Granted, TCM itself doesn't do much for actual healing, but let's focus on rhino horn. Demand from China and Vietnam has skyrocketed in the last 20 years, bringing the rhino population down over 90%. To me, that is proof that TCM is far more dangerous than you are attempting to lead us to believe. Who cares if it's not the "primary" characteristic? That it's a characteristic at all proves the inherent dangerous nonsense that is traditional Chinese medicine. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 10:31, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Bile Harvesting anyone? --Revolverman (talk) 12:06, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Bias against Bear Bile[edit]

Shame on you Ratwiki, for denying the obvious benefits of bear bile! You just haven't been using it right! The proper way to obtain the healing effects of bear bile is to pass through a bear's digestive system. Bears are 100% natural, and as the bear massages you with its mouth, the healing process begins. Each piece of you it coated in all natural stomach juice, which is known to destroy any and all viruses and bacteria you may have. In a process that lasts several hours, the bear will drop you off in the woods. It's also an effective weight loss method. CorruptUser (talk) 01:42, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

The bear also knows all of your acupuncture meridians and accurately taps them with its teeth. Bongolian (talk) 07:47, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Weaselly Purposes[edit]

Anyone with half a rational brain could read the obvious bias in this "article" which uses primarily objectionable - from any "rationalist" point of view - topics to talk about TCM (which has been unceremoniously lumped with ancient Chinese Medicine). Aside from the need to arrogantly disregard Chinese sciences from an egalitarian, and disgustingly Victorian (ie: racist) sentiment... it's obvious that this article is meant only for a certain audience, and is completely unhelpful for anyone seeking answers on health or history.

Not unlike the "science" book Jehovah's Witnesses force their adherents to read about Creationism, just the opposite side of the same coin. Certainly NOT a ver sociological proofed page!

Far be it for anyone "rational" to bother to spend any time actually understanding something they do not, and refuse to understand. That might be too much work.

But make no mistake... CORPORATIONS spend money to do it. And when they produce SCIENTIFIC products like Airborne, stealing the ingredients lists from TCM formulas (Yin Qiao San, in the case of Airborne), it isn't "psuedoscience" that they draw upon, or the "mythological" origins (LOL! nope, no doctors involved there). I assure you they very seriously gather data and study the texts to understand the processes and potentials in our substantial - and FAR SAFER than pharmaceuticals - pharmacopoeia. Fact.

Enjoy your ignorance... I certainly get to enjoy the benefit of both eastern and western sciences, without being restrained by vain, blind faith and dogmatic allegiance to any limited paradigm. But until you do, you'll always be the victim. Ironically, so long as you don't know jack about Qi, on a personal level, you'll get to enjoy illness and disease in a way I just don't anymore. Not since I stopped being a pure rationalist, atheist, and general white, know-it-all jerk judging other cultures from my pedestal. Looking back on that guy, who might aid people like "ratwiki" (haha) in their personal agenda to forwarding a faith that destroys nature and health throughout the world, let alone culture and diversity... looking back I marvel at how far I've come to real freedom, and to avoiding the vast waste of Qi.

Enjoy ignorance. Karma is a honey badger.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Recent Nobel in Medicine?[edit]

A lot of quacks are trying to trump up the recent Nobel prize for medicine to being an achievement of TCM. Can we get a blurb on that? My only source is the Skeptics Guide to the Universe, but I'm sure there's more reliable sources documenting the stupidity. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:25, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

The Nobel was for the development of the chemical artemisinin, which was extracted from Artemisia annua used in TCM. But artemisinin is also extractable from A. absinthium, which is used in Western herbal medicine. I updated the wormwood section in List of medicinal plants for the Nobel recently. Bongolian (talk) 19:40, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
While this particular plant may contain a compound proven to be effective for the traditionally indicated disease, many others do not. It's cherry-picking.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 01:12, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
And while artemisinin may have a good benefit-risk ratio for some diseases, that is not to say that wormwood does. There remain questions about neurotoxicity of Artemisia species even though commercially produced absinthe was shown to not have significant amounts of thujone.[1] Bongolian (talk) 01:29, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

Article expansion idea[edit]

or this could be its own article but here it goes; how about adding the legal status of TCM by state including scope of practice.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 00:32, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

feel free to get researching and writing it up! (There might be a few suitable cribs in Wikipedia, for example.) - David Gerard (talk) 12:11, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

Rational Artical?[edit]

Since this Wiki is known as rational it should not mention topics without context. And also it is not rational to have out of Context Exsamples.

So the hole article should be reworked since it is not scientific rather than a opinion of the author.

The hole article is out of context. Since it is not set in a proper relation. Starting with the paragraph Enviromental Impact , it suggests that it is just a Thing of TCM. But since Western Medicine does thousends of animal tests and a lot of other stuff which could be mentioned as "not safe",you could even state thate thousends of people die to surgery fails. so this paragraph is out of relevance for TCM.

ALso the paragraph Lethal substitution is an example with no statement. It does not state out if the physician within the spa lerned TCM in China. And therefor not yust claimed to know what they are doing. It is also just an example. How many peaple die each day on chemotherapy (and at this point i just mention the people who are declared as "cured" but die one year after chemotherapy do officaliy not count as victims of chemotherapy.

I could go one but i will stop here. SORRY but this is NOT scientific.

greetings— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Please don't go on. It appears that you are rather stupid. This is a perfectly acceptably scientific article, given that TCM is based mostly on myth and hand-waving. If you can't see the difference between testing on domesticated animals and killing rare species for random parts of their anatomy, you need help. Compared to real medicine, TCM has an appalling success rate. If you don't like that fact, tough shit. That's the real world. Queexchthonic murmurings 14:09, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
I think this BoN is likely a Poe. If they think this terribly spelled and laughable concept is in any way helping their cause I would be shocked. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:28, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
I sincerely hope English is not that BON's first language.Petey Plane (talk) 15:47, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
You interpreted to much inside my words. I just mentioned that this article is out of context. I did not defend the killing of rino's. I also did not say TCM does work. So in other word's. Examples do not work as empirical studies. So in an "rational wiki" it should not be allowed to argue on example to prove once one opinion(This is what conspiracist do). In best case it is an evidence that an theory is not exact and therefore has to be adapted. In worst case it is not relevant but mentioned as it is. Again other words for your understanding. What would be if I use this wiki, make an Entry about "real/western medicine" and i would state out that everyday thousands of people die cause of physician's failures (https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=34016). And therefore would tell the world that it is harmful, this would be the way argued in this article.
you missed my point about: "Compared to real medicine, TCM has an appalling success rate.". The issue is not that one or the other can have bad outcomes (that much should be obvious), but that the scientific evidence strongly indicates that TCM in general is rubbish and that real medicine beats it in every meaningful measurement. That is not opinion; that is fact, backed up by copious evidence. Queexchthonic murmurings 16:45, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Which is incorrect as well. Hospitals and physicians see tens of millions of people a year, and they actually report how many adverse events they have from overnight techs leaving the room to pee to people having the wrong body part operated on, where there is no system that tracks how many people use alternative medicine or how many adverse events happen. A system which alt-med providers have fought. There's even an article that details this issue. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 18:31, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Oral TCM among Boston/Austin ethnic Chinese parents and children[edit]

[library.ingentaconnect.com/content/aapd/pd/2016/00000038/00000004/art00007 Useful for finding what the common ones are]. Herr FüzzyCätPötätö (talk/stalk) 00:39, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

This link did not work for me. Bongolian (talk) 03:06, 30 August 2016 (UTC)