The concepts of holism take into account the interactions and interrelationships between parts of a system and the system and its environment. Human and animal bodies are considered to be complex adaptive systems. Both Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) and conventional medicine consider the interactions and interrelations among systems, organs, tissues and cells. However, in conventional medicine, diagnosis and treatment tend to involve more linear thinking and be specialized with a focus on the disease of a specific organ with often little consideration of the influence from the whole body let alone the environment. The Zheng or patterns of disease in (TCVM) always consider the system as a whole and the effects of the environment, taking into account the non-linear and dynamic aspects of the body and disease. The
linear thinking of the conventional scientific method cannot be used to completely understand all aspects of Zheng. Complexity Science is the study of non-linear, open, and dynamic systems. Research methods applied in the study of complex systems can be better used to understand Zheng and the effects of therapeutic TCVM interventions. So from the point of view of Complexity Science, TCVM has advantages over the conventional scientific approach. Utilizing aspects of both conventional scientific and complexity scientific methods could be useful to advance the understanding of both TCVM and conventional western medicine.