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TCM should have cultural confidence

(People's Daily Online)

16:08, August 28, 2012

The doctors of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in Australia will be eligible for registration since July this year, which means these TCM doctors have finally obtained a legitimate medical practice and bid farewell to the era of illegal medical practice. It is the first time for the TCM doctors to be formally recognized in a developed country.

Due to the cultural differences between the East and the West, the TCM had long been rejected by the mainstream medicine. Coupled with biased public opinion, it is imaginable that how hard the TCM was to obtain legal recognition and protection in Australia.

The key for the TCM to be recognized in developed countries is that its curative effect is recognized by patients. The data shows that the TCM and acupuncture clinics of Australia receive about 2.8 million patients every year, 80 percent of which is the mainstream social groups speaking English. The industry-wide annual turnover reaches over 100 million Australian dollars. In the entire world, the TCM has been applied in 162 countries and regions and 4 billion people use the herbal medicine. According to statistics, 70 percent of Chinese medicine practitioners abroad are foreigners and 70 percent of patients are also foreigners.

It cannot be denied that most Westerners are skeptical of TCM and many hold a completely negative attitude. Facing the internationalization and foreign culture, it is necessary for the TCM to make appropriate adaptations. However, we should not remold the TCM with the standard of Western medicine to obtain the recognition of the West. The TCM will lose the value of survival without traditional Chinese culture and characteristics. Therefore, the TCM must not be "de-Sinicized."

The TCM is the gem of ancient Chinese science and is also the key to open the treasure house of Chinese civilization. It is normal for the Westerners to have a prejudice against the TCM. However, it is puzzling that some people hold a negative attitude toward Chinese medicine. They believe that Western medicine is a science but Chinese medicine is not. They are not willing to see and even deny the development and progress of the internationalization of Chinese medicine. Those denying or opposing Chinese medicine lack of cultural confidence and always think that the Chinese medicine is not as good as Western medicine.

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