Why am I attacking TCM

As a qualified modern Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioner, I am like every other TCM practitioners loving the idea of chemical free healing.  But I could not accept that we can only copy ancient formulas without knowing how the ancient formulas were created, especially when the formulas do not provide an effective result, with no reasoning system, we can do nothing but hand over the patient to the biomedical practitioners.

As early as I was at university studying TCM, I have become frustrated while our teachers said that the ancient physicians formulated their treatment strategies through experience. I always thought that the ancient physicians had to have a reasoning system for their practices only our teachers at the university did not know. I have begun to search that system ever since my school time.

My finding has shocked me that not only the ancient physicians had a profound reasoning system which is completely different to TCM, and the TCM actually deliberately hides that reasoning system and acts as a barrier to prevent future learners to access to the ancient reasoning system.

The ancient Chinese reasoning system not only for healing but for all knowledge is the theory of yinyang wuxing. Yinyang wuxing theory today is banned from all formal educations in the world. For people who have studied Chinese medicine have all heard of the terms of yinyang wuxing such as cold is yin and hot is yang, wuxing is water, wood, fire, soil, and metal, but the theory of yinyang wuxing is about how yin and yang work together to sustain life and create water, wood, fire, soil, and metal, which is absolutely missing in today’s TCM education.

In China, students have been constantly reminded to have a scientific materialistic worldview, in the west, we are not emphasized to have a scientific worldview, because we don’t have other choices, so the spirit as the yang side of human life is brushed off completely in the TCM teaching. So I can say that TCM has no spirit and its body is doomed to decay.  I am attacking TCM because it pretends to be the ancient Chinese healing (I call it yinyang wuxing yi), and when TCM dies, I wish yinyang wuxing yi tradition can be seen and be carried on.

I attack TCM to hope more TCM practitioners would retrain themselves to become a physician of yinyang wuxing yi. Because yinyang wuxing yi will give you the power to freely creating your own effective healing methods.



6 thoughts on “Why am I attacking TCM

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  1. After reading Rhonda’s first book, Chinese Medicine Masquerading as Yi, I completely agree with her argument. There has to be a reasoning system behind any healing modality; otherwise it becomes stagnant and dies. I just started reading her second book, Yinyang Wuxing Spirit Body & Healing, this morning. I have high hopes for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. but it can only be learned if we can find a teacher. and as you have said the colleges do not teach it. and they won’t because they need to be seen to be following the evidence-based scientific line. the only way we can be a ‘qualified’ practitioner is to accept the college course and then train in yinyang wuxing yi – as you yourself did.
    i am a massage practitioner not an acupuncturist so the AACMA is not relevant to me – yet. so i am able to practice inside my head at least, how i like. but eventually the accreditation warriors will create a situation like the eclectic medicine wipe out of the early 20th century. China itself, as far as we can tell, has wiped out the real traditional medicine in a similar way with its push to be seen as scientific.


  3. you have said that you have ceased practice. in the meantime another practitioner has ‘qualified’ by accepting the AACMA and there goes yinyang wuxing yi because if they practice in the traditional way they will be ‘unqualified’.


  4. TCM can spread to the western world in less than half a century, even it is not all logical, to me it says that people do long for an alternative healing to bio-medicine.
    Yinyang wuxing theory is different to science, but it is a solid reasoning system that had directed all fields of practices (including healing) in China for thousands of years. Yinyang wuxing theory is learn-able, and it is no harder than learning marketing or finance. When there are enough people understand the yinyang wuxing theory, a more powerful association than AACMA will emerge.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dear Dr. Chang,

    I am an acupuncture student at MacEwan University in Canada, conducting a research project that seeks to explore what Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is. During my literature search, I came across your publications and blog. I think you have a very interesting perspective and I would like to interview you for my project.

    In Canada, TCM is a regulated health profession in some provinces, yet there is an absence of dialogue surrounding the history and definition of TCM, implications of using it as the foundation of a healthcare profession, and its suitability to serve as the educational and regulatory model in a modern western society. I would like to ask experts for their thoughts on what TCM is, how we can define it and its parameters, what we should call our profession, and how it should be regulated and taught. I hope that collecting this information can help to support the development of a transparent terms of reference to guide regulation and education of TCM (or a more appropriate name).

    If you would like to share your thoughts on this topic, please email me at leb6@mymacewan.ca. I would greatly appreciate your participation.


    Brenda Le


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