Chinese and Other Traditional Medicines

Key Points

  • Traditional medicine derives from the accumulated knowledge, skills and practices of indigenous cultures around the world.
  • Traditional medicine is used worldwide in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness.

The majority of cancer patients in the US use some form of traditional and complementary medicine during treatment.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), traditional medicine (TM), is "the sum total of the knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness."1

In some countries, traditional medicine or non-conventional medicine is sometimes called complementary medicine (CM). Traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) is an important and often underestimated part of health care. T&CM is found in almost every country in the world, including the United States. About 80 percent of people in the world use some form of TM, and demand for T&CM services is increasing.2 A 2005 study found that the majority of cancer patients in the US use some form of traditional and complementary medicine during treatment.3

Traditional and complementary medicine systems are discussed briefly on these webpages:

View All References

More Information

Enter your comments or questions below.

Comments (0)




Allowed tags: <b><i><br>Add a new comment: