TCM is a complementary and alternative medicine, and the decision to add it to the ICD-11 classification system has a great impact for the health care industry and the development of the practice in the U.S. However, TCM is far from mainstream. While it is still relatively unknown in the U.S., it is becoming increasingly popular. According to Choi, the inclusion of TCM in the ICD-11 classification system will expedite its development and spread throughout the world.
Because TCM has not been proven to have any side effects, many critics claim that it should be included in the ICD-10. Despite these criticisms, there are also some important benefits to including it in the ICD-10 classification. For one, a better understanding of the biologic basis of the syndrome will improve diagnosis and treatment. Another benefit is a standardized system of TCM diagnosis and disease management. But, despite its benefits, it is important to remember that TCM is not an endorsement of any specific treatment.
In the United States, TCM has only recently become a mainstream alternative medicine, largely because of its growing popularity in China. Since the mid-19th century, Chinese immigrants have been practicing the method in the U.S., but it was largely unknown to Americans until 1971. A new York Times reporter named James Reston underwent an emergency appendectomy in China and was treated with acupuncture afterward. His reports about TCM’s benefits and dangers sparked public interest, and the practice has become a worldwide phenomenon.