The acculturation of Chinese medicine by the West since the 1970s has raised questions about the efficacy, validity, and potential of this form of medicine. Researchers in the field have agreed that studies on Chinese medicine present a methodological challenge. Research conducted in recent decades has focused basically on statistical clinical trials. This article offers a critical analysis of the problems encountered when applying to Chinese medicine the scientific methods common to biomedicine and also suggests new directions for such research guidelines. Relying primarily on the method of text analysis, the issue is approached by applying theoretical references from the social sciences to health.
Chinese medicine; research; science; acupuncture; healthcare promotion