Traditional Chinese Medicine courses now in PH

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Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine (NJUCM) and Si En Traditional Chinese Medicine Institute recently collaborated to launch their TCM courses and make them available to Filipino students.

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The launch was held by the two schools at a news conference at Kamuning Bakery in Quezon City last week to
promote Traditional Chinese Medicine not only in the Philippines but also globally.

Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, former director of the National Institute of Health, said TCM has become an international body composed of 80,000 organizations, 200,000 acupuncturists and 100,000 registered TCM practitioners in 183 countries.

Deemed as one of the most common forms of Chinese medical treatments, acupuncture remains as one of the best alternatives for better health under TCM but its role in pain management still needs to be introduced to a wider audience.

Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles in various parts of the body to relieve one of different ailments, particularly muscle tension.

“I call it ‘invigorating’ acupuncture because it does not only make you feel good but also makes you feel happy and healthy. It is not just a treatment but it is also used as a means to prevent various diseases,” Galvez said.

According to Dr. Iris Teo Hwee Chin, president of Singapore’s Si En TCM Institute, “the main purpose of this program is to bring TCM to the Philippines [because it]could generally [boost]the Filipinos’ health.”

Si En TCM Institute has been running three TCM clinics in Singapore for the past 10 years.

Dr. Hwee Chin also represents Nanjing University from which she graduated with a master’s degree in Chinese medicine.

The university was one of the earliest to carry TCM in its curriculum in China, which has produced 30,000 skilled TCM practitioners to date.

“Neurology and psychiatry are courses which may be learned aside from medical acupuncture in TCM,” Dr. Tan Cho-chiong, certified medical acupuncturist, said.

Other expressions of TCM are herbal treatment, Tui Na (more often known as “pinch-and-pull” massage therapy) and Qi Gong, which includes breathing techniques and meditation exercises.

Dr. Hwee Chin said interested applicants do not need to have a medical background in order to be part of the TCM program.

“As long as you have a degree, you can enroll in this program. It will take two to three years to acquire a master’s or a doctor’s degree in TCM,” she added.

The TCM course—introductory, intermediate and advanced levels–will be available in several medical centers all over the Philippines.

The program will reward participants with an accreditation or certificate conferred by the NJUCM.

Dr. Galvez noted that medical spas and establishments can be an outgrowth and a spin-off of this initiative that can potentially stimulate Philippine economic growth.

“Taking this course for three years will cost around P150,000 in total,” Dr. Hwee Chin said.

According to Dr. Cho-chiong, “a great portion of Filipinos does not get the chance to consult doctors anymore. Learning more about TCM can offer cheaper and better alternatives even in the future.”

Aside from its local benefits, the TCM model is also designed for China’s growth initiatives and strategies in terms of health and wellness worldwide.

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