Home > Current Events > Year 2011 February
A review of stories making the headlines.

American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) announces $10100 in scholarships
SFGate, 7 February 2011

The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM), a Bay Area acupuncture treatment and Chinese Medicine college, devoted its fundraising in 2010 to the student scholarship fund, which offers $10,100 of scholarship money to deserving ACTCM students. Eligible students can apply for up to five scholarships. ACTCM has been at the forefront of educating students in TCM in San Francisco since its inception in 1980. ACTCM's community clinics serve as a diverse and demanding training ground for their students, while providing affordable health care services to the community.

Chinese medicine death links
The Standard, 7 February 2011

A study has found that more than a third of the about 4,400 cases of poisoning last year were self-inflicted. And four deaths were, for the first time, attributed to Chinese medicines, two of which were intentional. In one of the case, a middle-age woman has taken mylabris (dried beetle) powder, and suffered from cardiac arrest and died several hours after admission to hospital. This Chinese medicine is used for treating serious skin ulcers and its use is under control by the government. If people misuse the medicine, it can cause vomiting and bloody diarrhea.

Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (Phase III) announced
7thspace.com, 15 February 2011

The Department of Health (DH) published reference standards for 28 commonly used Chinese herbs in Phase III of the Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS). In establishing the standard for Chinese herbs, a key ingredient of proprietary Chinese medicines (pCm), the HKCMMS not only helps safeguard the safety and quality of pCm, but also provides the basis for further research on Chinese Materia Medica. The HKCMMS Volume III is accessible at the DH website (www.dh.gov.hk).

Acupuncture and exercise may benefit women with PCOS
Emaxhealth, 9 February 2011

Researchers have recently found that acupuncture and physical exercise may improve menstrual bleeding pattern in women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). University of Gothenburg scientists tested a group of women with PCOS with electroacupuncture, a second group of women exercised at least three times a week, and a third group acted as controls. Results show that both acupuncture and exercise reduced the high levels of testosterone and lead to more regular menstruation. According to the principles of TCM, illness is caused when qi (energy) does not flow properly throughout the body. Correcting this imbalance may help activate the endorphin system, which could lower blood pressure and reduce heart disease.

Book detailing Collaterals Theory of TCM hit shelves
Istockanalyst, 13 February 2011

The Theory of Collaterals, a book that offers a comprehensive explanation of the collateral system in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has reached the shelves of the nation's bookstores. The book reflects the achievements of a government-funded national key research project on Collaterals Theory and its application in battling vascular diseases, according to experts. The research project was led by Wu Yiling, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), and included experts from eight medical research institutes and hospitals. At the book launching event, Li Daning, deputy head of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said Chinese experts, through years of research, had carried forward the collaterals diseases studies into a new phase of understanding.

Danger alert over herbal diet pills
Onmedica, 15 February 2011

The Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) says anyone currently using Herbal Flos Lonicerae capsules, also known as Herbal Xenicol, should stop taking it and consult their healthcare professional immediately. The product was brought to the MHRA's attention by a concerned GP after a patient was hospitalized and several other patients reported suffering a range of side effects including palpitations, severe gastritis/abdominal pain and insomnia after using the product. The product has been tested and found to contain sibutramine at level twice those found in prescription dosages. Between 2005 and 2010, over 280 products tested by the MHRA were found to contain undeclared active ingredients.

Bear bile company draws fire with market listing plan
China.org.cn, 16 February 2011

A Chinese pharmaceutical company seeking market listing is under fire for extracting bear bile to make medicines, a practice considered to be cruel by animal welfare groups. The practice by Guizhentang Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. was exposed by a microblogger, Yu Jichun, who called for a boycott of the company's listing. During the listing preparations, the company applied for environment protection verification from Fujian Provincial Department of Environment Protection, and was approved. "If Guizhentang's listing is finally approved, I am afraid it will send the wrong signal to the public: an inhumane industry like bear bile extraction is not banned, but encouraged through listing approval," Yu said.

Statutory regulation for herbal medicine providers
Health Cash Plan News, 21 February 2011

The Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine in UK has welcomed the Health Department announcement on statutory regulation of herbal medicine and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners by the Health Professions Council. TCM practitioners in UK believe that the statutory regulation is the best way to safeguard the public. On the other hand, many health cash and private medical insurances now include alternative therapies, although some do not cover herbal and Chinese medicine. As these will be regulated from May, the main excuse of lack of regulation removes the main barrier to insurers reluctant to cover these treatments.

TCM Physicians will have to operate from two separate facilities: Health Ministry
Topnews, 24 February 2011

An announcement by the Health Ministry of Singapore stated that doctors are allowed to study Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). However, it has warned that such qualified physicians will not be allowed to practice both professions from the same clinic. Apparently, a doctor wanting to practice the subject will have to set up another facility. Apart from that, all such setups will be regulated by the TCM Board. According to the information available such courses witness the enrollment of at least a dozen doctors. The Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board has certified only 97 doctor still date and out of the 97 certified doctors, 88 happen to possess a practicing certificate. However, it is not yet known how many actually practice this subject.

Relief from fatigue in cancer survivors with the aid of acupressure
Medical News Today, 25 February 2011

A Michigan State University nursing researcher is studying whether two acupressure treatments, relaxation or stimulating acupressure, can help alleviate symptoms of persistent cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer survivors. Wyatt, the researcher, said pilot research has shown acupressure can significantly decrease fatigue by as much as 70%. Wyatt said if a patient has to live with breast cancer, then the health care community needs to ensure that patient has the highest quality of life possible during treatment and aftercare. And self-administered acupressure is nontoxic, inexpensive and requires minimal instruction, thus appears to be a promising treatment for persistent fatigue.

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