Traditional Chinese medicine enters global stage

David Wu, LAc - the master of Chinese meddicine

Chinese Medicine: Philosophy and Treatment Method

Chinese medicine, also known as traditional Chinese medicine or TCM, is a system of therapeutic interventions and a way of thinking about the body and health. Ancient Chinese medicine’s beliefs include the notions that the body is a scaled-down replica of the world, that yin and yang are in harmony, that the five elements can represent all phenomena, and that the vital energy known as Qi flows through the body and preserves health. These components of Chinese medicine are typically not the subject of scientific studies on TCM, which instead focus on the effectiveness or potential risks of the medical procedures involved.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

The approximate age of Chinese medicine is 2,500–4000 years. A significant development in 2018 was the formal inclusion of traditional Chinese medicine by the World Health Organization in its worldwide medical directory. Chinese medicine is thought to have treated about a million patients in the US in 1997, and it’s believed that number has grown since then in both the US and other Western nations. Additionally, rather than being promoted as prescription medications, herbal products are frequently sold as dietary supplements.

The fact that dietary supplements are subject to less stringent regulations than prescription medications may help to explain the relative dearth of studies on TCM efficacy. TCM use is very common in China because of its low toxicity.

Chinese medicine deserves the world’s respect.

UNESCO and the UN Economic and Social Council were visited by a group on Monday, April 10th, led by Liu Baoyan, president of the World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies (WFAS) and chief researcher of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences.

WFAS had 264 member societies as of the end of 2022, representing more than 400,000 acupuncture-moxibustion practitioners throughout 70 countries and territories.

Since 2010, the TCM procedures of moxibustion and acupuncture have been listed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Senior liaison officer Lily Gray of UNESCO’s New York office met with Liu and the delegation. The two sides discussed preserving and passing down TCM’s acupuncture-moxibustion techniques.

World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies (WFAS)

WFAS was founded in Beijing in 1987. In 1998, it established official ties with the World Health Organization, and in 2010, the International Organization for Standardization approved it as an A-liaison organization. The UN Economic and Social Council also granted it special consultative status in 2019, making it the only Chinese medicine organization to hold that position.

WFAS has actively participated in UN meetings since receiving special consultative status and has promoted the WHO’s “Health for All” aim. WFAS submitted a series of remarks regarding the COVID-19 pandemic at the Human Rights Council and the World Health Assembly, urging the inclusion of traditional medicine in the fight against the pandemic.

The delegation also met with Li Junhua, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, during its trip to the UN to obtain more guidance from the organization so that acupuncture-moxibustion of traditional Chinese medicine can contribute more to the accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

According to Liu, Chinese acupuncture has taken over as the standard form of acupuncture worldwide, and it has steadily made its way into the mainstream American medical system. “Acupuncture has spread to 196 nations and territories, and more than 50 have passed laws governing it. According to Liu, medical insurance in many countries covers acupuncture treatments.

Chinese President Xi Jinping refers to Chinese medicine as “the treasure of ancient Chinese science.” Liu noted that traditional Chinese medicine has a long history and has amassed a wealth of clinical knowledge through its use. He also discussed several significant obstacles to promoting TCM.

Fang Yigong, Vice Dean of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences Hospital of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, told CGTN that interest in acupuncture among foreigners is rising, and many international students are now coming to China to study. 

“What actually impressed me was their passion for TCM and Chinese culture. Effective acupuncture treatment would increase their interest in traditional Chinese medicine, so they would come to study. They also have persistence and dedication. Some of our students are older or have very promising jobs. However, they chose to leave their jobs and start to learn acupuncture. It’s quite touching for us,” Fang said.

Chinese medicine in the USA

The acceptance of Chinese medicine has grown over time outside of China. The American National Institutes of Health have found acupuncture and other TCM therapies to be secure and efficient for some medical diseases, and the organization is looking into larger applications. The World Health Organization has recently welcomed conventional medicine, such as Chinese medicine, mainly when used with Western treatment.

According to Dr. Zhang, traditional Chinese medicine benefits the entire world while allowing Americans to interact positively with Chinese culture.

Traditional Chinese medicine, according to Zhang, “makes us, the society, more harmonious and balanced, and that helps not only our body from the inside but also the entire society, the entire world, in a certain way.”

Chinese Medicine in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Acupuncture Clinic is the #1 acupuncture facility in the City of Brotherly Love.

Chinese native acupuncturist Hú Dà Wèi, L.Ac, provides TCM services under the supervision of Victor Tsan, MD.

We strive to remain at the forefront of integrative medicine in our city and have received nothing but positive feedback from our patients.

For an appointment, contact Philadelphia Acupuncture Clinic at (267) 403-3085

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