Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has been one of the popular strategies for health promotion. Traditional East Asian medicine (TEAM) is one of the most popular CAM practices in the world and there are suggestions that its holistic utilization is important for users to gain its effects for health promotion. In this context, this study investigates the extent to which TEAM users in East Asian countries utilize various modalities of TEAM holistically. It provides a model that explains cross-national differences in the extent of the holistic use of TEAM between China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Using the 2010 East Asian Social Survey, regression models specify the relationship between the holistic use of TEAM and the geographical location (country). The presence of TEAM doctors who hold the comprehensive and exclusive practice rights over TEAM is found to be conducive to the holistic utilization of various TEAM modalities. Thus, Taiwanese and Koreans use TEAM more holistically than Chinese and even more so than Japanese. The result suggests that the manner in which TEAM is institutionalized affect the extent to which TEAM users utilize various TEAM modalities together and potentially the health promotion effects of TEAM.

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