Emerging Biomedical Models and TCM Steven Tan, MD

Steven Tan, MD, MTOM, LAc, holds dual medical degrees and board certifications in both western and eastern medicines; Associate Faculty Member for the UCLA Center for Neurovisceral Sciences and Women’s Health; medical director of the Integrative Institute for East-West Medicine in Beverly Hills, CA; and Chairman of the California Board of Acupuncture. Stress-related conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and irritable bowel syndrome comprise a group of disorders that are primarily symptom-based, multisystemic in presentation and probably involve alterations in mind-brain-body interactions. The emerging neurobiological models of allostasis/allostatic load and of the emotional motor system show striking similarities with concepts used by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to understand these conditions and how they occur. These models incorporate a macroscopic perspective, accounting for the toll of acute and chronic traumas, physical and emotional stressors and the complex interactions between the mind, brain and body. The convergence of these biomedical models with the ancient paradigm of TCM may provide new insights into scientifically verifiable diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for stress-related conditions.