US citizen Gavin Wilson, 50, from San Francisco, would have never believed traditional Chinese medicine could help him cope with high blood pressure had he not traveled to China this year and happened to visit a TCM hospital.
High BP had been troubling him for three years. Three months ago, while vacationing in Shangrao in East China's Jiangxi province, one of Wilson's friends recommended a local TCM hospital.
Out of curiosity, Wilson went to see a TCM doctor. After reading his pulse, the doctor cautioned Wilson about not just high BP but early-stage heart disease.
After undergoing TCM treatment for three months, Wilson's BP dropped, and the heart condition was under control.
"TCM is so amazing! Just a simple pulse reading helped me better understand my illness. I never thought I had a heart issue before. TCM saved my life," Wilson said.
Data from the World Health Organization showed that 103 of its 194 member countries use acupuncture, a Chinese practice. And 29 of them had enacted laws to regulate TCM, while 18 had included acupuncture in their medical insurance system.
A report from the State Council Information Office said the Chinese government had signed 86 agreements with various countries and international organizations for cooperation in the field of TCM. They envisage establishment of 17 TCM centers overseas.
Using TCM, China is offering medical help to developing countries. This way, the world gets a better understanding of TCM.
According to the report, China has sent its medical assistance teams to over 70 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America. TCM professionals accounted for roughly 10 percent of the medical staff members.
In recent years, China had sent out over 400 TCM professionals to more than 40 countries. These include Tanzania, Comoros and Indonesia. The goal was to enhance the efforts to prevent many diseases including AIDS and malaria.
In addition, international medical assistance teams helped combat a lot of acute diseases using Chinese herbs, acupuncture, tuina (massage), and a combination of Chinese and Western treatments, and saved tens of thousands of lives.
"Up to 70 percent of the Australian citizens had experienced TCM treatment. Some used TCM to cure diseases, others used TCM to prevent illnesses. This is why the Australian government included TCM in the country's laws and regulations," said Dong Qihan, a professor at the Medical School of the University of Sydney.
"Acupuncture is unexpectedly popular in Minsk," said Zhou Haijiang, head of the Acupuncture Department at Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of TCM, which teamed up with the government of Belarus in January 2018 to establish a local TCM center. According to Zhou, five more TCM centers will open in Belarus later on.