History of Chinese Medicine

TCM – treatment methods with tradition going back thousands of years


The origins of Traditional Chinese Medicine stretch back into antiquity. In China today, it holds a firm place alongside modern conventional medicine. In the West, it enjoys high esteem and increasing recognition.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on man’s age-old endeavour to harness the forces of nature for healing purposes. Archaeological findings show that, as long ago as the stone age, stone needles, herbs and minerals were being used for curative treatments.

The system of Traditional Chinese Medicine draws on the teachings of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. The life energy Qi, the forces of yin and yang, the network of meridians and the functional circles play an essential role. The functional circles articulate the holistic view of the person.

For thousands of years, only Traditional Chinese Medicine was practised in China. As early as the 17th century, missionaries returning to Europe from the Middle Kingdom brought back treatment methods such as acupuncture. In the opposite direction, Western medicine reached China in the 19th century, when it partly displaced the traditional methods of treatment.

In the mid-20th century, Traditional Chinese Medicine experienced a period of resurgence with the advent of the communist era. Today, it once again has a firmly established place at China’s universities alongside modern conventional medicine.

After the opening up of the People’s Republic of China in the 1970s, Traditional Chinese Medicine spread across the world. More and more people around the globe rely on the forces of nature, both for healing and maintaining their health and also for their physical and mental well-being.

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