For centuries, far-eastern cultures have used things like herbal remedies and acupuncture to heal and maintain health. The practices are known as Traditional Chinese Medicine, and practitioners have been plying their trade for more than 2,000 years. Various other parts of the world have started to support these practices, but there’s a surprising lack of science to back up their effectiveness.
For many years, those who support the traditional practices have wanted to see them included in the options that mainstream healthcare providers offer. It seems that they’ve finally gotten their wish. The World Health Organization (WHO) has finally approved Traditional Chinese Medicine to be included in its latest version of the “International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems” (ICD). The purpose of this report is to provide the most robust view possible when it comes to health concerns and potential treatments.
Getting Traditional Chinese Medicine practices included in the report wasn’t easy. In fact, it took more than 10 years for the WHO to get Asian representatives to condense centuries of knowledge into a form that could be classified.
Not everyone seems to support the inclusion of the traditional practices in the ICD. The challengers state that the ICD is supposed to include only those treatments that have evidence to back their effectiveness. They go on to say that evidence supporting the validity of traditional practices is still very much lacking.
As you might imagine, though, leaders in China fully support the move by the WHO. Those leaders have been pushing for the move for years, and have said that in some cases, traditional Chinese medicine is easier to come by and cheaper than the more accepted Western methods.
Still, the truth is that there really isn’t much research to back up just how effective the traditional methods are. Furthermore, many of the traditional practices rely heavily on resources obtained from wildlife, and activists are afraid that the increase in traditional methods as a result of its inclusion on the ICD could put certain species at risk. That being said, it’s likely that we’ll see Traditional Chinese Medicine become a hot topic on the conservation scene very soon.