There’s a whole genre of quack apologia for traditional Chinese medicine that I like to call “traditional Chinese medicine is science, ma-an!” Basically, it tries to convince you that the prescientific, mystical, vitalistic mass of nonsense that is traditional Chinese medicine is “ancient knowledge” that was far ahead of its time and that its wisdom will be rediscovered to become the future of medicine. It’s utter nonsense, of course. Unfortunately, in its January issue, National Geographic fell for this myth—hard.
ICD-10 is a standardized system of alphanumeric codes for diagnoses maintained by the World Health Organization used throughout the world for billing, epidemiology, research, and cataloging causes of death. Its successor, ICD-11, is now complete and set to be formally adopted by WHO. Unfortunately, thanks to the influence of ideologues and the Chinese government, ICD-11 appears to be taking the “integration” of traditional medicine to a whole new level by integrating quack diagnoses with real diagnoses.
The latest issue of the official journal of the European Atherosclerosis Society features a credulous article on traditional Chinese medicine. TCM is presented as a system of medicine whose use should “spread to Western societies.” Sadly, the editors failed here, as the article consists of revisionist history, pseudoscience, and false equivalence.
Australian researchers have carried out another randomized clinical trial on acupuncture for in vitro fertilization. Unsurprisingly, it’s completely negative. Also unsurprisingly, acupuncturists are not happy and are furiously making excuses.
Proponents of integrating quackery like most traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) into real medicine portray themselves as underdogs being persecuted by big pharma and the FDA. In China, however, the case of Tan Qindong shows that in China TCM is big pharma.