Chinese therapy shows healthy global future at services fair

(Xinhua) 14:24, September 06, 2021

BEIJING, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- As the gloom of COVID-19 envelops the world, China is providing therapy to the globe via a large-scale fair for trade in services.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) services have drawn the attention of participants at the ongoing 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services, which seeks to deepen cross-border cooperation and inject momentum into the world economy.

Due to its performance in the battle against COVID-19, TCM has gained wider recognition in other countries, said Tong Xiaoying, deputy director of the China Beijing International Acupuncture Training Center.

According to the World Health Organization, 113 member countries have recognized the acupuncture, 29 of them have launched related laws and regulations, and 20 have included the service into their medical insurance systems.

Tong's center mainly teaches acupuncture and dietary therapy to foreign students across the globe. Tong said that in recent years, some 400 students from countries including Iran, Algeria, Morocco, Thailand and Cambodia have received training in the center every year.

Most international students in the past were medics, but now ordinary people without medical background have also joined in, Tong said. "They might not be practitioners, but they regard TCM as a new form of wellness."

After years of medical exchange and cooperation, TCM has been introduced to 196 countries and regions, according to official statistics.

The need for Chinese therapies has also witnessed an increase abroad, resulting in higher demand for more accessible services, said Shang Li, chairman of the Shanghai International Cooperation Center of Traditional Medicine.

Shang has been devoted to cross-border trade in TCM services for about 10 years.

TCM treatment such as cupping, acupuncture, and "tui na" or Chinese therapeutic massage are well-received by foreigners, said Shang.

Foreign patients now show much more openness and interest in TCM, according to Shang, who added that the weight-loss project which uses cupping technique is quite popular in the overseas market.

About 95 percent of visitors are locals in two jointly-run TCM centers in the United Arab Emirates and Germany, he said.

Offering treatment is only a small part of the service. Efforts were also made by Shang to conduct related cultural exchange activities, personnel training, innovative device development and the building of digital platforms for long-distance diagnosis services.

In Shang's eyes, advanced techniques must be used to better cater to local patients. A recently-developed device brought to the fair by Shang bears out his philosophy. Investors at the services fair from countries including Cuba, France, Zimbabwe and Turkey showed their liking for a portable vaporizer which contains extracts of various Chinese herbal medicines.

The trendy user-friendly design is the key to the success of the 10-centimeter-long device, Shang said.

The combination of traditional Chinese medical concepts and advanced techniques is vital to the overseas promotion of TCM, Shang said. "Promoting TCM requires steady efforts and meticulous preparation."

Shang is optimistic about the development of TCM outside China, expecting for more international cooperation on scientific research.

"TCM has good prospects in the future," Shang said. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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