Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) includes a broad range of medicine practices developed in Ancient China as much as 5,000 years ago. They include various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage (Tui na), exercise (qigong), and dietary therapy.
TCM “holds that the body’s vital energy (chi or qi) circulates through channels, called meridians, that have branches connected to bodily organs and functions.” However, skeptics point out that scientific investigation has not yet found any histological or physiological evidence for traditional Chinese concepts such as chi, meridians, or acupuncture points. They add that TCM practitioners often disagree widely on what diagnosis and treatments should be used for any given patient.
The effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine also remains poorly researched and documented. Regulatory agencies have expressed concerns over a number of potentially toxic plants, animal parts, and minerals in Chinese medicinals. Pharmaceutical research has explored the potential for creating new drugs from traditional remedies, but few successful results have been found.
As a result, a Nature editorial described TCM as “fraught with pseudoscience”, and said that the most obvious reason why it hasn’t delivered many cures is that the majority of its treatments have no logical mechanism of action, yet proponents argue that it is because research has missed key features of the art of TCM, such as the interactions between different ingredients.
The exception to this is acupuncture, which has now been heavily researched and practiced in the west, for it has been found to be helpful in alleviating pain, reducing bronchospasm in asthmatic patients, stabilizing blood pressure in hypertensive patients, and in treating a host of other conditions.
Dr. Bresler and his staff have continued the research on acupuncture that he initiated at UCLA in 1973, and as a result, he has discovered some of the most effective, longest lasting, and least uncomfortable treatment approaches for a wide variety of ailments. Almost no one ever leaves his office still in pain.