Isn’t Chinese medicine essentially a form of folk medicine that has been replaced by science-based Western medicine?
Just as modern Western medicine is a complete system of medicine, with a characteristic vocabulary and methods of diagnosis and treatment, so Chinese medicine exists as a complete medical system with its own vocabulary and therapeutic modalities. To Western minds, the vocabulary of Chinese medicine sounds strange, and therapeutic modalities such as acupuncture seem exotic or incomprehensible. But Chinese medicine is solidly based on thousands of years of observation and experimentation. Chinese scholars and practitioners have recorded their theories and clinical experience in thousands of books (30,000 – 40,000 individual books on Chinese medicine were written before 1900). The accumulated wisdom and observation of millions of patient treatments are documented in these treatises. In modern times, Chinese medicine theories and treatment modalities have been subjected to rigorous scientific testing on the Western model. Acupuncture and herbal therapies have been tested using gold-standard double-blind scientific studies, and the scientific research overwhelmingly confirms the efficacy of Chinese medicine treatment modalities. In most large Chinese hospitals today, Chinese medicine and Western medicine are practiced in an integrated manner, with each patient receiving the treatment modalities that will work best for him, whether it is Eastern acupuncture or Western radiation therapy. Chinese medicine is currently used by at least one-quarter of the world’s population as their primary form of medicine for the simple reason that it works.