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Foreign women warm to TCM
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A doctor checks an American woman's tongue yesterday at the Shuguang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital in Zhangjiang High-Tech Park.Photograph by Wang Rongjiang

Fifteen foreign women living in Shanghai yesterday observed traditional Chinese medicine practitioners in a hospital and all came away highly impressed.

The women, ranging from housewives to students and all interested in Chinese culture, volunteered for the three-hour promotion that included demonstrations of diagnostic techniques and lectures on the age-old practice and its relevancy to the worldwide medical profession.

Under guidance from Pudong New Area government, the Pudong TCM Association carried out the initiative, a first for the city.

The visits are expected to become regular events, with another one penciled in for next month.

The 15 expatriates yesterday toured Shuguang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital in Zhangjiang High-Tech Park.

"It was interesting and fantastic," said Priti Nopany, an Indian woman, who was told by TCM doctors at the hospital that she suffered a qi deficiency due to a cold.

She received the prognosis after putting her tongue in a machine to check her health via TCM.

Karen Vecellio Rochester, who is from the United States and has been in China for three weeks, was fascinated by the diagnostic methods.

"Just imagine ... your tongue can tell you about diseases in other parts of your body," she said. "In the West we know nothing about qi or yin deficiencies in our bodies."

According to Dr Guan Xin from the Shuguang hospital, qi and yin deficiencies are among the nine key areas of the body in TCM diagnosis.

"Many foreign people are extremely interested in TCM, which is so mysterious for them," Guan said.

"This project is to promote basic TCM knowledge to foreigners and give them proper medical guidance in receiving such services in Shanghai."

Cindy Hui Lio, who has just arrived from the US, is a convert. "The lecture was very informative," she said.

"Many people are interested in TCM because we know of its benefits to the health, but we need more information and directions on it," she said.

Nomn Turner, a Mexican who was part of yesterday's tour, was already a TCM success story so had no hesitation in volunteering.

She had soreness in her finger joints for several years before she learned about TCM in a Shanghai pharmacy.

"I got some herbal ointment, and put it on my joints and feel better now.

"The herbs and flowers used in TCM are all new stuff to me but I believe they work and can lead to a long and healthy life," said Turner.

Wang Ziping, from the Pudong TCM Association, said the association would organize regular such tours for expatriates in the area.

People who are interested in participating in the project should contact their local community centers.

(Shanghai Daily August 22, 2009)

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