TCM joins the fight

By Dara Wang | | Updated: 2020-03-17 13:49
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Senior residents receive free Chinese medications prepared by the School of Chinese Medicine of Hong Kong Baptist University. [PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY]

Aside from medications, Bian suggests elderly people get a therapeutic massage periodically or acupuncture. There are also exercises promoted by TCM. Regular care improves health, lowering the risk of infection and dying from the virus, said Bian. He expects that in the long term, the pandemic will raise awareness of the need for a healthy lifestyle throughout the community, especially among the senior groups.

Bian said the school has been getting positive feedback, with many recipients reporting they feel calmed by the TCM medications. He warned against overuse of them.

"We distribute medicine to elderly people with health problems only. Those in good health have no need to take our medicine," Bian said.

In the light of modern science, TCM, which formed the basis of healthcare in ancient China, has taken a secondary role in the modern era. Scholars and practitioners hope that by providing benefits during the current pandemic, TCM may regain traction and earn greater trust in the community.

Bian hopes for increased international exchanges among TCM communities to explore new discoveries and treatment approaches to infections and to rehabilitation and expects greater convergence with Western medicine. He says novel approaches are especially important to regions facing an aging population.

"With more and more people realizing the importance of it, the systems of Western and Chinese medicine will be more integrated and improve our abilities and efficiencies for resisting diseases", Bian suggested.

Unlike Western medicine, Chinese medicine rarely makes specific assertions about how long medications will be in effect. Most Chinese people believe TCM involves a gradual process. Practitioners and advocates believe it also will require a gradual process before TCM plays a larger role in the world of modern science.

Many practitioners are raising the profile of TCM during the current crisis, not only to help save lives, but to contribute to overall good health. Self-promotion is not the priority, but if the treatments help, the entire community will be the winner.

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