TCM joins the fight

By Dara Wang | | Updated: 2020-03-17 13:49
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Bian Zhaoxiang, chair professor and director of the Clinical Division, School of Chinese Medicine of HKBU, expects TCM to play a bigger role in fighting the coronavirus. [PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY]

The TCM approach

Improving the physical fitness of susceptible people is an important mission of the school, Bian highlighted. In fighting the coronavirus, TCM is a significant weapon, especially by improving the body's natural immunity, he said.

TCM has a history as old as Chinese culture. Its theory places particular emphasis on the mind, especially the inborn vitality of the patient, related Bian. While the natural sciences separate themselves from the religions, philosophies and other cultural disciplines of Western history, TCM theories integrate culture and religion as part of the whole, according to Qian Jia's article, published by the World Health Organization (WHO).

It's viewed as "wholeness" and thus has some considerations that go beyond Western medicine. "Its basic principles are hard to put under the microscope of evidence-based medicine of the present day," the article stated.

WHO, in making primary healthcare a core policy, found that TCM's values do address the health needs of a community.

The study claims that instead of suppressing individual symptoms, TCM looks at disease as a holistic issue and addresses the whole person. Its therapies focus on restoring the normal interaction between the human and human nature. Under TCM's theory, the power of self-healing and immunity are core concepts; if health and immunity are maintained, the individual remains free of disease, and thus "health for all" is achievable, at least in theory.

Gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea and diarrhea are early clues of coronavirus infection. In TCM's concept, these patients have dampness and deficiency of spleen. Some Chinese medicines are effective in removing dampness and boosting qi and thus lowering the risk of infections, said Bian.

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