Author of this website Dr Chan Joon Yee is a dental surgeon holding a graduate diploma in Acupuncture. He is a registered dentist and acupuncturist.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been around for thousands of years. Based on observations, experimentation and “mystical” theories rather than hard science, recent years have seen a re-emergence of this healing art as the limitations and long-term adverse effects of Western medicine become clear.
Like all therapies, TCM therapies have their advantages and limitations. Outcome is often dependent on the skill of the practitioner. Effectiveness also depends on correct application. It is not a cure-all. For many ilnesses, surgery is still the ultimate solution. In many acute conditions and medical emergencies, intravenous injections and infusions are still necessary.
TCM treatment like acupuncture is most suitable for treating vague aches, pains and discomfort with no detectable underlying cause. It also works very well in conjunction with physiotherapy in the rehabilitation of stroke patients and accidents victims. It is also good for complementing Western medicine, perhaps reducing the nasty side effects of powerful drugs. Of course, for illnesses like viral infections and complex neurological conditions for which there is “no cure” in Western medicine, TCM can sometimes provide effective relief.
While it is unfair for some people to reject TCM based on its lack of a scientific basis, it is just as bad to rely totally on TCM, rejecting all Western drugs and treatment completely. Just as yin and yang must be balanced, so must attitudes.