Can Christians go to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners for help? 基督徒可以看中医吗?

A Christian’s reflection


Why is it even questioned if Christians can get involved in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)? How did the question arise? Before we start contemplating on this, we need to agree with the following statements: first, the ʟᴏʀᴅ forbids believers in Christ to get involved in any forms of false religion very solemnly; and second, we must obey the commandments of the ʟᴏʀᴅ. Thus, the remaining questions are: what is in the category of “false religion”? Does TCM count to be one of them? Finally, what is the definition of getting involved?

I. What is in the category of “false religion”?

False religion, as this term itself indicates, refers to every religious belief that contradicts the Christian faith. “Closely related to the occult is false religion. Often the two are inseparably intertwined. Both promise what appeals to us all–peace, power, knowledge, access to God. They claim to direct us to the light, but they actually entice us into darkness… Many different doors lead into the realm of the supernatural. But there is only one door that leads to the supernatural realm of God. That door is Jesus. Those who go through any other door can enter a supernatural realm–but it is the realm of Satan, not of the one true God.” (Derek Prince, They shall expel demons, pg. 166)

Cupping is a therapy used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to supposedly remove stagnation and stimulate the flow of qi (chi).

II. Does TCM count to be one of them?

First, you might be puzzled, how can a medical treatment be in any relation with false religion? “Since the time Huangdi Neijing (also called Neijing) was written to this day, TCM never abandon the idea of combining philosophical thinking with clinical medicine.” On the other hand, “The main stream of Western medicine… has gradually deserted the philosophic part in Hippocrates medicine, and founded itself on scientific methods like positivism and experimentalism, and thus formed modern medicine that pursues logic of evidence-based knowledge and sophisticated methods.” (Au Kit Sing, When Chinese medicine meets Western medicine–history and ideas, pg. 33)

Until this day, TCM is still inseparable with the philosophical thinking behind its practice, which includes the theory of yin yang wu xing, etc. Practitioners of TCM did not put away those theories after they were invented and thus set the medical practice apart; instead, these theories are the basics of the operation of TCM. In history of TCM, there indeed were fluctuations on the degree of the usage of the theories, and also different practitioners may explain them differently. And yet, surely TCM has never separate itself completely from these theories. TCM never discard the framework of its philosophical thinking.

And so, do theories behind TCM belong to the category of false religion? First, concerning Neijing, the classic scripture of TCM, “Neijing is a book containing medical knowledge accumulated between the period of warring states and qin and han dynasty, and is consist of two parts Lingshu and Suwen, each part includes 81 volumes of writings. In short, Suwen is the origin of yin yang wu xing theory in TCM and the theory of visceral manifestation; Lingshu gives the account of meridians and acupoints, and also skills of acupuncture on various diseases. Neijing’s claim that it was written by Huangdi was not an accident, at least in the early years of the period of warring states, the theory of unity of man and nature, which is a mystical theory that can be traced back to shang dynasty, had gradually formed as a philosophy called by the name of Huangdi. The emphasis of the philosophy is that it takes ‘way of heaven’ to be the basis of its theory, and it was applied in moral principles, astronomy, calendar calculation, astrology, qi observation, geography, warcraft, medicine, qi building, becoming immortal. Yin yang, the four seasons, wu xing are the common principles of how the heaven, men and the earth are related to each other. In Lüshi Chunqiu, there are quite a lot of concepts of how beings in the same category, or having the same voice, or being in the same flow of qi, can feel and relate to each other.” (Au Kit Sing, When Chinese medicine meets Western medicine–history and ideas, pg. 34)

As a result, the classic scripture of TCM is indeed the application of the philosophy of Huangdi in medicine. Is the philosophy of Huangdi false religion? Obviously, it is. And not only does it contain beliefs of false religion, it is also related to the occult. The two main branches of occult is divination (fortune-telling, face reading, astrology, etc.) and sorcery (often operated through objects like charms and drugs). You may find the full teaching on this in the book They shall expel demons written by Derek Prince. Back to the topic, the theory of yin yang wu xing, visceral manifestation, meridians and acupoints all have its origin in this, and they are still being practiced to this day, and thus it is fair to say that TCM is actually in the same category with divination and sorcery, which the Bible condemns.

Maybe you would ask: what about all the experience acquired from real medical practice? Are they all “polluted” because of the root of its theory in false religion? Indeed, a practitioner of TCM will definitely include his/her own clinical experience while treating the patient, not just some concepts in philosophy. As it is said here, “Although Neijing and astrology, qi observation etc. are in the same category of the philosophy of Huangdi, which is a mystical kind of philosophy, yet as a medical book, it contributes to combining theory of yin yang, the four seasons and wu xing with clinical experience, and thus demystifies these theories. Opposite to the perception of some Western medical practitioners, Neijing includes writings beyond the mystical theories, for example, in vol.15-21 of Suwen, descriptions about pulse diagnosis, observation of the patient’s complexion, signs of death are included; in vol. 31-48, various diseases such as malaria, headache, heartache, stomach-related illness and arthralgia are depicted. In these writings, there is scarcely any philosophical accounts.” (Au Kit Sing, When Chinese medicine meets Western medicine–history and ideas, pg. 35)

However, yin yang, the four seasons and wu xing are still the philosophical framework that cannot be shaken to this day. And these theories are not another way of depicting nature, or an objective principle of nature. These are indeed false religion––trying to get into the realm of the supernatural (otherwise, how can the deduction of the five elements in the universe tell you anything about the future? This is not the natural way we acquire knowledge, but supernatural), and gain the knowledge of weather, the destiny of a nation, the state of the enemy… (depending on the topic applied). Most importantly, it is not the supernatural realm of God. No matter whether these theories are less mystical in TCM or not, as long as it keeps them as the basis of practice, TCM will always be related with false religion. And whether Christians can get involved in an activity does not depend on how much it is associated with false religion, but whether it is or isn’t linked with it. As it is said in the previous paragraphs, Christians should not get involved in TCM. 

III. What is the definition of getting involved?

To this point, if you can accept the arguments above, you might be a little worried if you are under the influence of Chinese culture. You may want to ask, “According to what you said, all the philosophies in the Chinese tradition can be counted as false religion, and I’m under the influence of this culture, how can I escape from it?” First, please remember that only when a practice is associated with false religion is it forbidden in the Bible. For example, supposed that you want to take a taxi, and your driver happens to be a dedicated believer in some form of fortune-telling, does it mean that you can’t take this ride? Of course not, because the whole process of taking a taxi has nothing to do with the personal beliefs of the driver. You wave your hand, get on the taxi, pay your bill, get off the taxi, and all these are not related to the faith of the driver. You can bring your Christian faith on and off the taxi in peace. But supposed that this driver asks you to provide your date of birth before you can get on the taxi for fortune-telling (okay this is a extreme case), then if you are a Christian, you should not consent.

It is the same with going to TCM. Maybe some people would say, “Going to TCM is one thing and believing in its philosophies is another. I don’t even know much about those theories, not to say to believe in it. Why worry so much?” First, ignorance cannot be an excuse, we should examine everything to see if it is consistent with the truth or not, otherwise we will be easily deceived by the devil. Secondly, “unbelief” is not just a matter of words, but also a matter of deeds. Take fortune-telling as an example again, Christian A also can claim, “I don’t even believe fortune-telling in the slightest way. I’m only there for fun.” And yet the actual action of going to the fortune-teller is a recognition of this activity, no matter one admits it or not. Not to mention that many Christians who go to TCM for help indeed believes it can bring some help to them.

Of course, TCM is not fortune-telling. And I agree that TCM is effective in some way, but whether Christians can do something does not depend on its effectiveness, but on whether it is consistent with the word of God. Reading the article so far, maybe you have come across this idea: what if TCM just abandon its theories and preserve the practical part? Then will it be without problem? Supposedly, yes. But remember, the premise is total abandonment of the theories related to false religion. In fact, this has been an issue since the late Qing dynasty as the Chinese intellectuals argued about abolishing TCM or not. If you want to know more about the nature of TCM, read the paragraphs below.

This is moxibustion. Sometimes used in conjunction with acupuncture. The heat generated during moxibustion supposedly helps increase the flow of vital energy (also known as “qi” or “chi”) throughout the body via certain pathways (known as “meridians”).

IV. Why TCM cannot become a scientific medical system?

First, is it possible for TCM to abandon its theories completely, and preserve the practical part alone? If theory and practice can be spilt like this, isn’t it all together too simple? Indeed, some medical treatment found in TCM can be explained from the viewpoint of modern medicine. For instance, “The book Scientific principles in traditional Chinese medicine written by Hua Chen, the theory of visceral manifestation in traditional Chinese medicine by Song-Ming Liang, Hsiang-Lu Jong and Jun-Hsiang Chiang of Chinese University of Hong Kong are good examples. They put a lot of effort in getting resource from the academia of modern biology, trying to prove the theory of yin yan wu xing in TCM… yet attempting to prove yin yan wu xing at the microscopic level… has the problem of associating ideas and justifying TCM too easily. There is a variety of concepts in biochemistry, and indeed too many things can be borrowed from it. Purposedly taking concepts similar to TCM theories is always practicable. In some cases, the ancient Chinese obviously made a mistake, for example, by crediting decision-making to the function of the gallbladder. But it is still possible to take concepts from modern knowledge and make a possibly acceptable explanation.” (Au Kit Sing, When Chinese medicine meets Western medicine–history and ideas, pg. 113)

Meanwhile, it is not helpful at all to turn TCM into a scientific medical system by taking this kind of deconstructive method; using scientific terms in this way is just an attempt to show that the ancient Chinese did make sense. Yet the ancient Chinese made sense in some instances is not surprising at all, otherwise how can TCM continue to exist for thousands of years if it is not effective in any way? The question is, when theories behind TCM are occasionally effective, why is it still not possible to explain it completely with scientific system, and so that people have to search for corresponding concepts here and there?

In fact, some practitioners of TCM had already made it very clear, “Chi-Cheng Chang suggested that it is not necessary to force a way in finding equivalence of modern medicine in TCM. The TCM community should admit bravely that ‘strictly speaking, TCM is not science, which means it does not fit modern definition of science, for it cannot be described by mathematics, and it fails to be examined by experiments in the laboratory. This is objective facts, and hiding it in any way is unnecessary.’” (Au Kit Sing, When Chinese medicine meets Western medicine–history and ideas, pg. 123) Attempts of demonstrating the scientific nature of yin yang wu xing, finding the TCM viscera in the context of dissection and searching the meridians in the physical body–all of these attempts had failed. As a result, it is fair to say that even if there is new evidence showing that traditional Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, cupping, etc. can be explained partially with scientific terms, the fact that the whole system of TCM is not able to become a scientific medical system remains quite true.

TCM indeed can have some effects, as some cases indicate, yet not being able to be transformed to modern science points to an important fact, and it is also a fact that Christians should pay attention. According to the Bible, humans are consisted of body, soul and spirit. The human body is the part that can be understood by using scientific methods, and the modern medicine is based on this. As for spirit and soul, trying to explain and control these parts with non-biblical teachings has already gone out of the scope of science and dabbled into the supernatural realm of Satan–even though this kind of theory might disguise itself with some scientific terms to talk about qi or energy, it is pseudo-science in its essence. Although being classified as medicine and offer treatment for the physical body, the fact that TCM cannot be proved completely with science suggests that it is not guaranteed that the operation of TCM stays in the natural realm.

Final prayer:

If you are convicted that involving in TCM is a sin, and that you are willing to repent and renounce it, you can say the following prayer (it is a modified version of prayer from Derek Prince Blessing or curse–you can choose).

“Lord Jesus Christ, I believe you are the Son of God, and the only way to God, that you died on the cross for my sins, and rose again from the death, that on the cross you were made a curse, with every curse that is due to me, that I might be redeemed from the curse, and enter into the blessing. Lord, I confess any sins committed by me or by my ancestors that are related to TCM and other false religion. I ask you for forgiveness. I also forgive every other person whoever harmed me or wronged me. I forgive them as you have God forgive me. I also forgive myself. I renounce all contact with the occult in any form, and I commit myself to get rid of anything related to TCM, including books, needles, other machines or tools, etc. I pray to you to open my eyes, so that I can identify the deceptive lies of Satan, help me to be alarmed and to be deceived no more. And now Lord, having received by faith your forgiveness, with authority I have as a child of God, I now release myself and those under my authority, from any curse over our lives, right now in the name of Jesus, I declare release, I claim it and receive it by faith, in the name of Jesus, amen.”

I pray to the Lord to open your eyes and give you a discerning heart, so that with the word of God in mind, you will be deceived no more. Please remember, do not seek to understand false religion or the occult completely just because you are worried that you will be deceived. Knowing too many details can be harmful too, and at the same time, these things are endless. I would suggest you to focus on God’s word, as for these concepts of false religion and the occult, it is enough to know it briefly and resist it. Hold no interest in knowing unnecessary details. God bless you all. 

— Written by Jannie Lai





I. 什麽是「异教学说」?

异教学说(false religion,直译为「假宗教」)顾名思义,指的是一切非基督信仰的宗教学说。「这些宗教承诺能带给人平安、力量、知识,且让人可以亲近神,宣称能带人走向光明,实际上却使我们堕入黑暗之中……许多不同的门都可以通往超自然的灵界,但只有一扇门能将人引到上帝超自然的境界当中。那门就是耶稣。凡从任何其他门进入的人,也可以进到超自然的境界中——但那是撒旦的地盘,不是属神的境界。」(叶光明:《赶鬼与释放》第14章〈什麽是秘术?〉)

II. 中医是异教学说吗?




由此可见,中医经典《内经》实为黄帝之学在医术方面的应用。黄帝之学是异教学说吗?很明显地,是的,且不只是异教学说,当中还包含祕术(occult)的成分;祕术的两大支是占卜(算命、看相、占星, etc.)和巫术(符咒、药物, etc. 为其常用工具),详细的说明可参考叶光明《赶鬼与释放》,于此不赘言。中医的阴阳五行、脏象学说、经络腧穴的概念都源于此,且至今仍奉行不辍,至此已可断言中医实与《圣经》所禁止的占卜、巫术同属一类。



III. 「牵连」的定义是什麽?










结束祷告(final prayer)








I. 什麼是「異教學說」?

異教學說(false religion,直譯為「假宗教」)顧名思義,指的是一切非基督信仰的宗教學說。「這些宗教承諾能帶給人平安、力量、知識,且讓人可以親近神,宣稱能帶人走向光明,實際上卻使我們墮入黑暗之中……許多不同的門都可以通往超自然的靈界,但只有一扇門能將人引到上帝超自然的境界當中。那門就是耶穌。凡從任何其他門進入的人,也可以進到超自然的境界中——但那是撒旦的地盤,不是屬神的境界。」(葉光明:《趕鬼與釋放》第14章〈什麼是秘術?〉)

II. 中醫是異教學說嗎?




由此可見,中醫經典《內經》實為黃帝之學在醫術方面的應用。黃帝之學是異教學說嗎?很明顯地,是的,且不只是異教學說,當中還包含祕術(occult)的成分;祕術的兩大支是占卜(算命、看相、占星, etc.)和巫術(符咒、藥物, etc. 為其常用工具),詳細的說明可參考葉光明《趕鬼與釋放》,於此不贅言。中醫的陰陽五行、臟象學說、經絡腧穴的概念都源於此,且至今仍奉行不輟,至此已可斷言中醫實與《聖經》所禁止的占卜、巫術同屬一類。



III. 「牽連」的定義是什麼?









結束禱告(final prayer)




For more related content, you may want to read New Age Medicine Exposed.

4 thoughts on “Can Christians go to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners for help? 基督徒可以看中医吗?

  1. Joy B

    I have some questions I have been wondering about.
    One is I know types of massage are
    Satanic, but are all
    Types? I get massages now for my work injury and have thought to myself maybe I should
    Go back to school to become a massage therapist, but would want to avoid all types of satanic activities. If I can’t then reconsider what to pursue as a career. I know Reiki and crystal healing etc are satanic. Right now I get massages that are more western I believe. Are all forms of massage evil? Are all
    From a
    Of eastern massage evil? Also I have heard from a woman is in Asian religion that psychology comes from either Hindu or Buddhism. But I can’t find anything on the internet confirming this. I’ve questioned if psychology is possibly occultic…I know some
    Types of parts are but is all
    Of it? I know the Bible talks about worldly/demonic va heavenly wisdom and wondering if psychology related to that? I don’t know if anyone has any idea or can answer any or all of these questions I’ve asked…if they have any answers and experience etc. I would really appreciate it if anyone has any answers for me. I tend to be pretty discerning about occultic things, but I have areas obviously that I probably
    I’m the dark on.


    1. controversialchristian1

      Interesting comment, and I know where you are coming from.

      If you had a sprained shoulder or aching muscles and your husband or a properly trained medical professional massaged your shoulder to ease the pain and get the stiffness out, I guess this is fine. Reiki and many other esoteric practises are indeed spiritually dodgy and should be completely avoided by a Christian.

      God wants us to love Him, so pray that He guides you to the truth of this and other situations. He doesn’t want to trip us up, He loves it when we want to know His will.

      God bless.


    2. Hello Joy. Thank you for stopping by.

      I wouldn’t get involved in Massage Therapy or anything related to it. You can read #24 (demonic door openers section) on the Demonic Doorways page

      You can read a former New Ager’s take on Massage Therapy

      Getting just a regular massage is of course is fine, but when it involves anything new agey like “energy” healing or spirit guides, then run.


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