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Traditional Chinese Medicine Booming in Germany

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is now booming in Germany with the number of patients increasing drastically in the clinic in Essen, west Germany, partly due to the stationing of Chinese physicians.

"I didn't expect such an enormous demand of our traditional medicine in Germany before coming here", said Jiang Feizhou, one of the two Chinese doctors who support research projects in the Chair of Complementary and Integrative Medicine of the Duisburg-Essen University.

The clinic and the chair were founded in 2004 thanks to the sponsorship of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Foundation,whose Chairman and Professor Berthold Beitz has been a lover of Chinese culture.

The goal of establishing the Chair with its focus on TCM is to maintain and promote contact with China, said Prof. Beitz.

"It has always been my wish to support the integration of Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine," he added.

The Chair, the only one of its kind in German universities so far, mainly involves German patients, though there have been patients from other part of Europe such as England, Italy and the Scandinavian region.

Dr. Jiang and his colleague Wang Enping, who come respectively from two well-known TCM Universities in Wuhan and Hangzhou, treat nearly a hundred patients weekly.

Their working schedule and those of the three German physiciansare quite tight.

The German physicians are not only good at Western Medicine buthave also mastered techniques of Chinese therapies, such as acupuncture, guasha, massage and so on.

The medical team in the clinic includes a Sinologist and four interpreters, who help the Chinese doctors to communicate with their German colleagues and patients.

Through the cooperation with the Chair of Complementary and Integrative Medicine of the University Duisburg-Essen, the work ofthe Chinese physicians will be examined with scientific methods inaccordance with European standard.

Good results can help TCM be recognized and certified in Europe.

Doctors here face patients with diverse diseases ranging from allergies, pains, gynecological problems and different burn-out syndromes such as insomnia, tinnitus and depression.

The cold humid weather in Germany gives rise to pains, headaches and depression in winter, but when pollen are flying in spring, more patients come to treat their allergies.

Jiang, an experienced physician, cured many patient during his two-year stay here, but what impressed him most are that a patienthaving suffered from retina detachment for many years could recognize faces again after receiving 20 times of acupuncture.

Apart from the TCM out-patient clinic, an in-patient section with 21 rooms and 54 beds is the other part of the Chair.

The beds are always fully occupied as more and more patients come here to treat diseases that Western Medicine can not cure.

TCM has been so popular in Germany that an opinion poll, done by the Institute for Demoscopy in Allensbach recently, show more than 50 percent of German patients are in favor of a combined treatment of Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine. Among patientswho have once received TCM treatment, the rate is as high as 89 percent.

"This result shows the majority of patients who have been treated with TCM is satisfied," said Prof. Gustav J. Dobos, the holder of the Chair of Complementary Medicine. He is also heading the Essen clinic and in-patient section.

Prof. Dobos, an expert of Internal and Complementary Medicine who studied TCM in China as well, expressed his belief that in a few years TCM would be added to the German medical system.

Currently, both TCM and Complementary Medicine have become compulsory classes in the Medicine curriculum of the Duisburg-Essen University.

Prof. Dobos is determined to invite more qualified Chinese physicians to Germany.

In cooperation with Shanghai University of TCM, students from the Duisburg-Essen University will travel there to study TCM for amonth.

Chinese students from Shanghai in return can participate in different research and PhD programs in Essen.

(Xinhua News Agency April 6, 2006)

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