Ac­cep­tance of TCM spread­ing

Tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine is be­ing used in 183 coun­tries and re­gions, white pa­per says

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By WANG XIAODONG wangx­i­aodong @chi­nadaily.com.cn

A white pa­per re­leased by the State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice on Tues­day out­lines China’s ef­forts to pro­mote in­ter­na­tional ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion in tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine. The pa­per, Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine in China, said TCM has spread to 183 coun­tries and re­gions.

Ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, 103 mem­ber states have given ap­proval to the prac­tice of acupunc­ture and mox­i­bus­tion, 29 have en­acted spe­cial statutes re­gard­ing tra­di­tional medicine, and 18 have in­cluded acupunc­ture and mox­i­bus­tion treat­ments in their med­i­cal in­sur­ance pro­vi­sions, the white pa­per said.

Mox­i­bus­tion in­volves burn­ing herbs and ap­ply­ing the heat to the body to in­crease vi­tal en­ergy flows.

TCM has grad­u­ally gained more in­ter­na­tional ac­cep­tance, and some prac­tices have been rec­og­nized by author­i­ties in Rus­sia, Cuba, Viet­nam, Sin­ga­pore, the United Arab Emi­rates and other na­tions, ac­cord­ing to the white pa­per.

“We have es­tab­lished 10 TCM cen­ters out­side China, and all of them are pop­u­lar among lo­cals,” Wang Guo­qiang, head of the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine, said at a news con­fer­ence on Tues­day. “Gov­ern­ments of 86 coun­tries and re­gions have signed agree­ments with the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment on TCM co­op­er­a­tion.”

Many coun­tries have ex­pressed hopes of work­ing more closely with China since tra­di­tional ther­a­pies are both ef­fec­tive and easy to ap­ply, and the low cost means they can help con­trol bal­loon­ing health ex­pen­di­tures, he said.

In China, the num­ber of prac­ti­tion­ers and as­sis­tant prac­ti­tion­ers of TCM reached 452,000 by the end of last year, the re­port said. Med­i­cal care ser­vices pro­vided by TCM in­sti­tu­tions in the na­tional to­tal in­creased from 14.3 per­cent to 15.7 per­cent in the few years from 2009 to 2015, it said.

Last year, out­pa­tient ex­penses per visit and in­pa­tient ex­penses per capita at pub­lic TCM hos­pi­tals were, re­spec­tively, 11.5 per­cent and 24 per­cent lower than those at gen­eral pub­lic hos­pi­tals, ac­cord­ing to the white pa­per.

“De­vel­op­ment of tra­di­tional medicine is a global trend, and it is nat­u­ral that TCM is draw­ing more at­ten­tion from the world,” Wang said.

TCM drew world­wide at­ten­tion in Au­gust, when im­ages of pur­ple cir­cles on the back and shoul­ders of US Olympic swim­mer Michael Phelps were widely cir­cu­lated. The cir­cles were caused by tra­di­tional cup­ping ther­apy, prac­ticed in China for more than 2,000 years to relieve pain and boost the me­tab­o­lism.

Also, Tu Youyou, a Chi­nese re­searcher, shared the 2015 No­bel Prize in phys­i­ol­ogy or medicine af­ter iso­lat­ing the anti-malaria drug artemisinin from sweet worm­wood, long used in tra­di­tional medicine. She be­came the first Chi­nese na­tional to win the No­bel Prize in sci­ence.

Some TCM tech­niques, such as acupunc­ture, have been adopted by many coun­tries and are pop­u­lar with lo­cals, ac­cord­ing to Yang Zhen, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at Bei­jing Univer­sity of Chi­nese Medicine and a cer­ti­fied acupunc­tur­ist in Cal­i­for­nia.

But use of tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicines is not as wide­spread as it could be due to such fac­tors as a lack of sci­en­tific re­search on the med­inces and the fact that they of­ten are not cov­ered by med­i­cal in­sur­ance, he said.

Sailors from the the first long-range training ves­sel of the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army Navy, per­form for res­i­dents of a nurs­ing home in Auck­land, New Zealand, on Satur­day. The ves­sel ar­rived in Auck­land on Fri­day for a friendly visit that has in­cluded in­ter­act­ing with the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Wang Guo­qiang, head of the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine

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