Home > Current Events > Year 2010 February
A review of stories making the headlines.

European Parliament holds first lecture on TCM
English.cri.cn, 3 February 2010

The European Parliament (EP) held a lecture on TCM, the first of its kind that ever took place in the European Union's legislative body. The event was part of the EP's three-day special event, which was delivered by Li Feng, a professor from Beijing University of TCM, and attracted over 100 people from the parliament and other international organizations in Brussels. Li introduced the TCM basic theories and practices concerning health regimen, covering such topics as good sleep, appropriate exercises and balanced eating and drinking.

Acupuncture lessens pain in brain not body, scientists discover
Telegraph.co.uk, 6 February 2010

Acupuncture works by making the brain, rather than the body, no longer experience pain, according to new research. Scientists who scanned the brains of volunteers as they were given the Chinese therapy found it deactivated pathways that govern pain. Dr Hugh MacPherson of the University of York said: "These results provide objective scientific evidence that acupuncture has specific effects within the brain." Dr MacPherson and colleagues explained when a patient receives acupuncture treatment a sensation called deqi can be obtained, scientific analysis showed this switches off areas within the brain that are associated with the processing of pain. The findings have published in Brain Research.

Guilty plea in Chinese herbal 'cancer' case
BBC News, 18 February 2010

A practitioner of Chinese medicine has pleaded guilty to selling a banned substance to a woman who went on to develop kidney failure and cancer. Ying "Susan" Wu, 48, has been on trial for selling pills containing aristolochic acid. The judge said he accepted Ms Wu had not meant to harm, and that the case highlighted the need for regulation. Patricia Booth, 58, took the pills for over five years for stubborn patches of spots on her face. Mrs Booth became ill months after she stopped taking the pills. She was diagnosed with kidney failure, and later with cancer of the urinary tract - both allegedly caused by the pills.

Retailers back bear bile battle
People's Daily Online, 21 February 2010

More than 30 shops from four popular Chinese pharmacy chains became the leading retailers to join Animals Asia's new campaign to end the use of bear bile products in TCM. Thirty-three drug stores in Chengdu have their doors and counters emblazoned with stickers proclaiming loud and clear: "We don't sell bear parts." The bile was burnt on the streets outside the shops attracting much attention from passers-by. Bear bile has been used in TCM as an anti-inflammatory for heat-related ailments, such as eye and liver disease. It was only in the 1980s that entrepreneurs in South Korea and China began caging and milking the bears for their bile.

Acupuncture shows promise for depression in pregnancy
Reuters News UK, 22 February 2010

For pregnant women with depression, a couple months of acupuncture might help reduce the severity of their symptoms, a small study hints. The study, which followed 150 pregnant women with major depression, tested "depression-specific" acupuncture against massage and acupuncture sessions that, according to traditional Chinese medicine, does not specifically target depression. Researchers found that after eight weeks, women who received depression-specific acupuncture were more likely to have a treatment response meaning the severity of their symptoms fell by at least half and they no longer met all of the criteria for diagnosing major depression. Overall, 63 percent responded to the therapy, versus 37 percent of the control acupuncture group and half of the massage group, the findings have published in the medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

China unveils detailed public hospital reform guidance
People's Daily Online, 24 February 2010

China has announced plans on the reform of public hospitals. The guidance says Chinese traditional medical treatment and western methods are both important, and resources in both urban and rural areas should be assigned properly. The reforms place importance on fairness and efficiency in treatment, and give the leading role to public hospitals, non-public hospitals are also encouraged. Meanwhile, the reforms focus on preventing hospitals from relying on medicine sales to stay in operation, that some service prices will be increased and more health insurance funds will be used. The government will also increase its investment, taking on the responsibility for construction, and purchase of expensive diagnostic equipment, and pensions.

Compiled By:
Rose Tse, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.