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Declaration on Great Wall to promote TCM

Reporter: Jin Yingqiao 丨 CCTV.com

08-14-2016 05:28 BJT

TCM, or traditional Chinese medicine is a time-honored medicinal practice that has been used in China for centuries to treat disease. Government authorities gathered with industry leaders on China's Great Wall earlier to promote TCM around the world.

Some of China's best TCM doctors and cultural scholars stood side by side with the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine for an official declaration to promote China's ancient medicinal practice.

Former Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Health, He Jiesheng says the reason TCM is growing in popularity is because it is so effective. But it can only continue to be effective if the quality of doctors administering TCM can be ensured.

"Right now is the best period for TCM development. Especially after the 18th party congress. Our party's central committee, the state council, and government officials at all levels -- their understanding of TCM has reached a historic high. And so have their supportive policies," said He Jiesheng, former Deputy Minister of Ministry of Health.

China has long supported various traditional schools, or branches of TCM.

Since 2012, China has approved 64 TCM branches to receive 2 million yuan in annual subsidies.

Sun Shuchun is the chief researcher at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences. He is also the head practitioner at Qing Palace Chiropractics -- the ancient medical group that used to care for the royal family.

Sun says he can sense where a patient's spine hurts, without even asking. 

Sun compares TCM to a big tree, and schools are like the tree's branches. The branches can't leave the tree. When different schools flourish, so does TCM as a whole.

"Traditional schools are different from TCM universities. A university teaches basic medical knowledge. Whereas traditional schools have their own characteristics. A university education cannot teach everything that is taught in a school," said Sun Chuchun, Chief Researcher of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences.

How do traditional schools pass down their secret arts? It's mainly through apprenticeship. Schools that are approved must establish five to ten work stations nationwide to promote their skills. 

Zhang Jun is a chief physician at Wangjing Hospital and a disciple of Sun's school.

"We must first inherit the good things of TCM, and then improve it. We feel we really need to consider and improve the methods and then pass them down," said Zhang Jun, Chief Physician of Wangjing Hospital.

The Chinese government has sent Sun on a number of medical missions to countries around the world. Patients overseas say they love the treatment they have received. But Sun says he still worries about TCM's future abroad. 

"When TCM goes to the world, it shouldn't be westernized. This is a problem that we have right now. There's a tendency to westernize our Orthopaedic practices. Something that I'm against. I stick to TCM methods when I treat my patients. It's not to say that we don't perform surgery. Surgery is not western medicine, it's a natural science. When it's used in TCM, it's part of TCM."

Following the Great Wall event, the TCM campaign team now plans to travel to the United States for a series of other promotional events -- including a forum in the United Nations headquarters.

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