IS TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE WRONG?
ASSOCIATE EDITOR ZHI JIAO DANIELLE GOH, WILLIAM LIGHTHART WRITE – The race for a COVID-19 vaccine has become intense, as countries continue to suffer the economic damage from the extended lockdown until June. According to Nature, more than 90 vaccines are in development, and an American biotechnology company, Moderna Inc., has exited the competition and successfully entered phase II.
While we are hopeful for the vaccine, alternative treatments have been offered – no, not the much publicized artificial “hydroxychloroquine” President Trump has been promoting and allegedly using himself. Over the past three months, many ethnic Chinese, including Dr. Robin Wang, professor of philosophy and director of Asian-Pacific studies at Loyola Marymount University, have diligently boosted their immune systems with natural herbal remedies derived from herbal remedies. of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). , a unique medical system that many have grown up with.
TCM is based on over 3,500 years of Chinese medical practice or, like Dr Wang, Chinese scholar and author of the definitive book “Yinyang: The Way of Heaven and Earth in Chinese Thought and Culture” (Cambridge University Press Comm. 2012), said in an interview with us, “TCM has accompanied Chinese civilization which has survived epidemics throughout its history for thousands of years.”
Herbal medicine, acupuncture, gua sha – scratching the skin with a massage tool to improve blood circulation – and cupping therapy – placing cupping on the skin to create suction in order to heal blood circulation – are popular forms of TCM. Preliminary proof suggests that TCM can be used to treat lung conditions, particularly with COVID-19. (In the same way, You Youyou (屠 呦 呦), a Chinese Nobel Laureate who has focused her career on remedies for malaria, turned to medical texts from ancient Chinese dynasties to find a cure for malaria. Eventually, she discovered artemisinin, which is derived from sweet wormwood extracts. Eventually this was used to treat malaria in 2006).
Western mainstream media have been reluctant to report on TCM treatments. Why? Partly, perhaps, because of growing anti-Chinese sentiment. The Trump administration’s trafficking in xenophobia has denigrated non-Western treatment. In addition, there is a lack of solid medical literature to justify the reported curative effects of TCM treatments. As previously stated by CNB, Chinese government pressure for Chinese civilians to practice TCM nevertheless presents “direct and indirect risks for patients,” insist Western academics and medical practitioners.
They also indicated that TCM may well work to cause unwanted symptoms and side effects when used in conjunction with modern medical formulas for the treatment of COVID-19. Finally, it is difficult to link, or to prove factually, the potentially positive effects of TCM practices. Given all of this, non-traditional Oriental treatment protocols are not yet seen by many beyond China as the reliable path to a cure for COVID-19.
On the other hand, some observers believe that Western doctors are used to prescribing a ‘one size fits all’ approach for patients with similar symptoms, while TCM believes that everyone is unique and therefore treatments are prescribed in result. TCM places a strong emphasis on prevention, where herbs are used to strengthen the immune system to fight disease. The philosophy of TCM is this: Since viruses existed millions of years before humans, we must seek to coexist with them rather than eradicate them.
But the top priority for most countries around the world is the rapid identification, verification and mass production of a cure and vaccine for COVID-19. Countries are desperate to fully reopen their economies, but it cannot be done and the virus cannot be properly contained without a vaccine. While the search for a cure is driven by the need for speed, researchers and consumers alike are adamant that a vaccine should be guaranteed to be safe, with minimal side effects. It takes a considerable amount of time.
As the world searches for solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, the media, especially in Western countries, has almost exclusively followed the race for a lab-created vaccine. But COVID-19 impacts every country, regardless of the differences in the history of medical philosophies and practices.
Maybe it’s time for a change in the West, as famed Professor Wang insists, Maybe lab-based science along with TCM preventive measures should be mainstreamed for the good of mankind. .