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International standards to be set for traditional Chinese medicine

(People's Daily Online)    14:05, October 20, 2016

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The standardization of traditional Chinese medical treatment has progressed significantly in recent years, with 10 new standards waiting to be established in 2017, including the controversial scraping treatment.

The Traditional Chinese Medicine Technical Committee under the International Standardization Organization (ISO), a group that works to establish international standards for the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) industry, announced that it has been working on setting standards for 47 TCM treatments. Seven standards have already been established, including acupuncture, which is a key component of TCM, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Oct. 19.

“Traditional Chinese medicine and medical treatments have been spread and adopted in over 180 countries. The establishment of international standards for TCM can better improve the quality, safety and efficacy of these traditional practices and products,” said Shen Yuandong, vice director of the traditional Chinese medicine technical committee, in an interview with Xinhua.

The standard for Gua Sha, a scraping treatment, will be established in 2017. The 2,000-year-old treatment, used by many Chinese families as a home remedy for pain and other ailments, is a controversial therapy in Western countries due to the marks it creates on patients’ skin.

"Gua Sha Treatment," a film made in 2001, to some degree alleviated misconceptions about TCM in Western countries. In the film, a Chinese-American couple who used Gua Sha on their child was accused of child abuse, losing their jobs and ending up homeless.

“The establishment of the new standard will ignite an intense hope for the development of TCM worldwide, dispelling misunderstandings of our traditional wisdom and treatments,” a New York-based TCM practitioner surnamed Wang told People’s Daily Online.

David Graham, chairman of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Technical Committee, told Xinhua that the establishment of international standards for TCM will also be a good example for the standardization of other traditional treatments.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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