Bigger overseas role for TCM

Updated: Oct 9, 2021 China Daily Print
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A Chinese doctor administers acupuncture at the Katutura State Hospital in Windhoek, Namibia, on June 16, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Even though he faced a huge amount of work in Seychelles, Cheng Bin, an acupuncture doctor from the Affiliated Hospital of Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said he is glad to see TCM helping people there live better lives.

"The number of TCM doctors, especially acupuncture doctors in the medical teams sent by China to Seychelles, is increasing because acupuncture is much needed in the African country," said the 40-year-old, who worked at a hospital in Seychelles for over two years.

For example, a fisherman recovered from facial paralysis after accepting acupuncture treatment.

"His facial paralysis was substantially relieved after acupuncture treatment for one and a half months," Cheng said. "He started to believe in TCM and flew to a hospital in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, for a detailed medical checkup."

Back in Seychelles, the man accepted acupuncture for another three months and his face has basically recovered.

"People in Seychelles came to us to receive acupuncture to relieve pain, and some to lose weight," Cheng said.

TCM should play a bigger part in building a community of common health for mankind by improving human well-being, experts said at the Forum on Traditional Chinese Medicine held recently in Qufu, Shandong province.

Given China's successful domestic experience using TCM to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, more people around the world have become aware of TCM, said Wang Zhenguo, deputy head of Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

China has administered herbal treatments to 92 percent of confirmed cases of COVID-19. In Hubei province, more than 90 percent of confirmed cases received TCM treatment, and it has proved effective, according to a Chinese government white paper issued in June last year.

There is still much work to do to promote TCM on the global stage, experts said.

Cheng said diagnostic methods for TCM are so different from those used in Western medicine that even patients with some knowledge of the subject can have difficulty understanding what is happening.

In his keynote speech at the forum, Huang Luqi, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering and deputy head of the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said: "TCM goes hand-in-hand with Chinese civilization. The first step in inheriting TCM is to understand the history of TCM development.

"We should attach full importance to the cultural status of TCM and use TCM wisdom to benefit the world and improve human health and well-being."

Wang Qi, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering and master of TCM, told the forum, "We need to take account of the shortcomings of global public health governance and give full use to the advantages of TCM, such as therapeutic techniques like acupuncture, scraping and massage."

TCM is now being practiced in 196 countries and regions, and China has set up 30 overseas TCM centers in countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative to promote TCM, the forum heard.

"In the future, TCM health preservation, diagnosis and treatment, scientific research and education will form a TCM health industry chain that will offer business opportunities in the construction of the Belt and Road and contribute to the building of a community of common health for mankind," Wang said.


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