Classical vs. Traditional Chinese Medicine

Most Chinese medicine schools in this country teach something called Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM. Some feel that TCM, in some incarnations, has gotten away from the true nature and ancient knowledge of Chinese medicine in favor of a Westernized version of it that uses point protocols for western conditions instead of individualizing treatments based on underlying energetics. Some also feel that TCM is getting away from learning Chinese medicine by learning the theories presented in the Classical literature in favor of learning the medicine based on diseases, as they do in the West. (i.e. "Here are the differentiations and points for Irritable Bowel").

Classical Chinese Medicine, or CCM, however, strives to retain and use the knowledge of the Classical literature (dating back to around 50 A.D.) and to preserve the knowledge that has been refined over thousands of years. CCM rejects the modernization/westernization of Chinese medicine in favor of the more ancient and, some would say, effective classical way of understanding and applying Chinese medical theory.

In truth, the lines and distinction between CCM and TCM are not so well defined, and many people are practicing both without really knowing it. CCM is not so much a different system of medicine as it is a different way of using the knowledge and theory inherent to Chinese medicine.

Some fuller discussions of Classical Chinese Medicine:

Classical Chinese Medicine by Sean Christiaan Marshall, D.Ac.

by Heiner Fruehauf

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