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May 22, 1972

Traditional Chinese Medicine in The United States

JAMA. 1972;220(8):1132-1135. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200080070028

To the Editor.—  The practice in the People's Republic of China of both traditional Chinese medicine and modern Western medicine may be enigmatic to American physicians.1 However, dual systems of medicine exist in the United States within certain ethnic subcultures,2 such as Chinese-American communities.Most Chinese-Americans receive their health care from a physician. Some also take traditional Chinese medicines, according to a recent health survey in one US chinatown.3 The chief forms of therapy in the traditional Chinese system are herb medicines, acupuncture, and moxibustion.4 Herbal teas and salves are sometimes used concurrently with medications prescribed by a physician. Acupuncture, the insertion of needles into points in the body specified by the type of illness, is available in some large US chinatowns for the treatment of a variety of disorders. It has not been administered as anesthesia for major surgery, as practiced in the People's Republic