A BRIEF HISTORY OF TCM

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The Communist party of China was formed under the leadership of Chairman Mao in 1928 and took over power in 1949.  The Communits realized that there were little or no medical services and actively encouraged the use of traditional Chinese remedies because they were cheap, acceptable to the Chinese, and used the skills already available in the countryside.  In 1940, Yang Shao proposed to "scientificize" and "popularize" Traditional Chinese Medicine.   Since then, this resurgence has opened facilities in China to provide, teach, and investigate TCM.  While both Western and Chinese medicine have been practiced in China since the late 1800s, the traditional Chinese approach to medicine began to grow in popularity in the West in the 1970s, when ties to China opened.

The roots of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) date back more than 2000 years.  Its rich history tells of the many influences on its development, including the Japanese, Europeans, and the Communist revolution.   The changes that followed these influences explains why both terms--Traditional Chinese Medicine and Traditional Oriental Medicine (TOM)--are seen in the literature.  Although these two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, TOM generally refers to the system of Chinese medicine practiced until the early 1900s.   Up until this period, Chinese medicine had witnessed great growth, but also decline, as Western influence expanded and the training of traditional medicine grew poorer and more limited.

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