Traditional Chinese medicine

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The atheist, communist dictator Mao Zedong revived and heavily promoted Traditional Chinese medicine in China. He didn't believe in it himself, but pushed it as a cheap alternative to real medicine.[1] See also: Atheism and unscientific medical practices

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a type of traditional medicine based on 2,500+ years of Chinese medical practices which includes various types of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, exercise, and dietary therapy, but recently has also incorporated modern Western medicine. The efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine is poorly researched and supported.[2]

The Chinese government's National People’s Congress Standing Committee regulates TCM.[3]

Steven Salzberg wrote in Forbes magazine concerning TCM:

The Nature writer, David Cyranoski, presents this news in a classic two-sides-of-the-story format, describing the "endless hours" that TCM proponents spent on such important topics as the "correct location of acupuncture points and less commonly known concepts such as ‘triple energizer meridian’ syndrome." Later in the article (but much later), he points out that scientists have argued that qi and meridians simply don't exist.

Were you thinking this was about health care? Afraid not. Cyranoski goes on to point out some serious problems with TCM, for example:

"Critics view TCM practices as unscientific, unsupported by clinical trials, and sometimes dangerous: China’s drug regulator gets more than 230,000 reports of adverse effects from TCM each year."

Actually, it's much worse than this. Here's what TCM really looks like: the horrific slaughter of the last remaining rhinoceroses in Africa in order to hack off their horns, which are sold to become part of elixirs that some people mistakenly think confer strength, virility, or other health benefits. Last year, National Geographic ran a heart-wrenching photo essay showing some of the awful results of rhinoceros poaching in Africa; take a look at these photos here.

TCM also looks like this: black bears kept in grotesquely cruel "farms" with a permanent tube inserted into their abdomens so that their bile can be harvested. Despite a growing movement to end this inhumane practice (see this NY Times story), it persists today, with thousands of bears kept in cages so small they can barely move. No one can view photos such as these and say that TCM is a good thing...

Well put. On the other hand, Cyranoski does point out that the major motivation for TCM is money:

"[China] has been aggressively promoting TCM on the international stage both for expanding its global influence and for a share of the estimated US$50-billion global market."...

As the Nature article points out, TCM has been a scam for decades: it was revived and heavily promoted in China by former dictator Mao Zedong, who didn't believe in it himself, but pushed it as a cheap alternative to real medicine.[4]

Atheism in medicine

See also

References

  1. WHO Endorses Traditional Chinese Medicine. Expect Deaths To Rise by Steven Salzberg, Forbes magazine
  2. Shang, A.; Huwiler, K.; Nartey, L.; Jüni, P.; Egger, M. (2007). "Placebo-controlled trials of Chinese herbal medicine and conventional medicine comparative study". International Journal of Epidemiology. 36 (5): 1086–92. doi:10.1093/ije/dym119. PMID 17602184.
  3. China passes first law on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). WebMD China (December 28, 2016).
  4. WHO Endorses Traditional Chinese Medicine. Expect Deaths To Rise by Steven Salzberg, Forbes magazine