5 Traditional Chinese Medicine Myths Debunked


When it comes to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are many misconceptions regarding its legitimacy despite having a history that dates back to over 5,000 years ago.  Licensed TCM physician has to undergo studies and training as much as those who are studying western medicine. We will debunk 5 myths regarding Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

#1. TCM Health Supplements Are Not Regulated.

In Singapore, unlike medicines, both western and TCM health supplements are not subjected to approvals under the Health Science Authority (HSA) before they can be sold locally. However, the dealers must ensure that the health supplements do not contain any prohibited ingredients, make claims to treat diseases and having proper product labels which adhere to their regulation. Learn to identify product labels and ingredients and be a smart consumer!  

#2. Only For The Elderly.

TCM’s approach to sickness and illnesses focuses on enhancing the body, therefore, it’s commonly perceived as suitable for the elderly only. However, TCM treatment is suitable for all, from young to old regardless of age or gender just like western medicine. Treatment would be prescribed after a consultation with the TCM physician to see what would be more suitable for each individual. Other than herbal medicine, acupuncture and Tuina massage may be recommended as well. 

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#3. TCM Is Not Proven Scientifically.

Western medicine focuses on statistics while TCM is much more experiential and do not work within the labs to produce statistics. Both approaches to the human body are very different and therefore it wouldn’t be right to compare them using statistics alone. Though TCM does not have statistics to prove its effectiveness, there has been a lot of research and studies to show its effectiveness. For example, acupuncture is effective in relieving menstrual cramps, low back pain and good for stroke rehabilitation. 

#4. TCM Take Longer To Treat.

This is a common misconception as what most people are looking at is the symptoms. Western medicine alleviates symptoms much faster than TCM, but TCM treats the root of the problem as quickly or even faster than western medicine. 

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#5. Acupuncture is Painful.

A needle poking through is scary and painful enough, let alone the acupuncture treatment where a couple or even more needles are poking through our skin. But in essence, the needle is as fine as a strand of hair! While you will feel the needle and it pokes into your skin, you will not feel any pain. Some TCM physicians even came across patients that do not even feel when the needle is entering! 

Has debunking these myths changed your perception of TCM treatments? Give TCM treatments a try next time and see the results for yourself!