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TCM center provides Zimbabweans alternative treatment

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-12-03 10:29
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Traditional Chinese medicine is providing a viable medical alternative to Zimbabweans as more people turn to natural remedies.

Since a TCM center was opened at Parirenyatwa Hospital in the capital, Harare, in 2020, thousands of locals with different ailments have thronged the center to receive treatment free of charge.

Charity Nyakurimwa, one of the patients who have received treatment at the center, says she opted for acupuncture due to its noninvasive nature.

Nyakurimwa had sciatic nerve pain on her right leg because of the nature of her job — she was standing most of the time, so the pain was now radiating to her back. Then she found the TCM center which gave acupuncture to patients.

"So I came in and had acupuncture done on my right gluteal muscle and my back. After that, the pain was greatly relieved," Nyakurimwa says.

Another patient, Catherine Sadza, who has arthritis, says she has witnessed significant progress since she came for her first acupuncture session.

"I came here with a problem with my neck, my hand and my knees. Now I am feeling better than before," she says.

TCM is a holistic ancient system of health and wellness that has been used in China for thousands of years. It encompasses several therapeutic methods that include acupuncture, cupping, Chinese herbs, and tai chi.

Zhu Wei, a TCM practitioner at the center and captain of the 19th Chinese medical team in Zimbabwe, says the ancient knowledge system is proving to be a viable medical alternative for local patients.

"It can help to unblock meridians and bring back balance to the body. People get ill because of imbalance of the body, so acupuncture can bring back balance in the body, and people can be kept in health," Zhu says.

The physician says TCM offers many tangible benefits.

"More than 5,000 people came and received acupuncture treatment. They have spread the information to their relatives, so at present more patients come to try acupuncture treatment," he says.

To meet the growing demand for Chinese medicine in Zimbabwe, the TCM center started offering acupuncture training to local health personnel in July.

"We are planning to train more local doctors who can specialize in acupuncture, so they can help more people," Zhu says.

Richard Mutingwende, a homeopathy specialist and a TCM trainee at the center, says Chinese medicine has many advantages.

"It can address so many health conditions, such as arthritis, spinal injuries, diabetes and high blood pressure," he says.

"I will be doing acupuncture, moxibustion and tai chi. Such types of treatment are very safe and noninvasive," he adds.

Soo Bishop, a patient who sought medical treatment at the center after having muscle spasms in her shoulder, neck and head, says that as a form of natural intervention, traditional treatments are beneficial.

Bishop says her condition improved a lot following her acupuncture sessions at the center.

Tatenda Chimbunde, a pharmacist and a trainee at the center, says TCM is more beneficial since it addresses the cause of the problem rather than just treating the symptoms.

After witnessing firsthand the benefits of traditional remedies, Chimbunde hopes to pursue a career in TCM.

"In the near future, I hope to be able to practice acupuncture on many people with different ailments, as well as working in the public sector or in the private sector," she adds.

Zimbabwe and China share a long period of cooperation in the health sector. Since 1985, China has dispatched 19 medical teams to the southern African country.

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