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Traditional Chinese medicine promotes healthy world
Author :  DUAN DANJIE Source : Chinese Social Sciences Today 2017-01-24
The traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) industry has been a distinct and promising component of China’s economic and social development. Its output value hit 787 billion yuan, with exports totaling nearly $3.7 billion in 2015, according to a white paper on TCM recently released by the Chinese government.
China issued an Outline for a Healthy China 2030 Plan recently, which proposed to take full advantage of TCM and facilitate its use in prevention-based health care. The outline also encourages innovation while carrying on the legacy of traditions in TCM.
TCM has strategic value in the fields of medicine, economy, culture, security, ecology and technological innovation, said Chen Qiguang, director of the National Condition Research Panel on TCM and a research fellow from the Institute of Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
In terms of health care, TCM is simple, convenient, effective and economical. Also, it dramatically promotes the economies of remote and impoverished areas, embracing a promising global outlook, Chen said. China has made TCM a lifestyle, a custom and a tradition over thousands of years. It safeguards the physical health and life safety of people. It respects and protects nature, fitting into ecological development. It is the field with great potential to achieve independent technological innovations, Chen added.
Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion has been included in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Also, two books Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon and the Compendium of Materia Medica have been registered as the International Memory of the World in 2015.
Zhang Qicheng, dean of the School of Chinese Classics at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, said that TCM implies fundamental philosophical ideas, such as the theory that man is an integral part of nature as well as yin and yang, which are two opposing and coexisting forces that constitute everything in the world. He explained that TCM emphasizes integrity while valuing individuality and respect for natural laws.
Zheng Jinsheng, a research fellow from the Institute of Chinese Medical History at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, said TCM wisdom has attracted many Eastern and Western scholars to study classics, such as Treatise on Febrile Diseases and the Compendium of Materia Medica.
Modern scientific methods and evaluation systems may make TCM more sophisticated and objective, Zhang said. Together with the TCM fundamental mechanism of function, it will help establish a normative system for TCM, he added.
Traditional Chinese medicine has greatly contributed to the prevention of common and difficult diseases in massive epidemic situations. Its coordination with Western medicine has been recognized by the World Health Organization in the treatment of SARS and H1N1 influenza, Chen said.