Home > Current Events > Year 2012 June
A review of stories making the headlines.

70 % of Taiwanese have visited Chinese medicine clinics: poll
Focustaiwan.tw, 1 June 2012

Taipei, 70% of Taiwanese have consulted Chinese medicine doctors at some point in their life, according to a survey. About 55% females and 68% of patients over the age of 40 said that they had sought treatment at Chinese medicine clinics. Individuals seek TCM for a variety of illnesses, with bone and muscle pains topping the list at 64%, followed by flu, menstrual irregularities, recuperation and acupuncture. :But despite the popularity, there are some misconceptions, e.g. 86% of people think that Chinese medicine can only invigorate the body while Western medicine can effectively target problem areas. The survey, conducted April 2-7, drew responses from 1,080 people aged 20 and over.

Staff of under-fire college can't teach in English
The New Zealand Herald, 4 June 2012

An Auckland private training establishment is without teachers who can conduct classes in fluent English - despite a requirement its students speak the language. TCM College in Eden Terrace, offers diploma courses in subjects including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and advanced TCM. It had two-full time and six part-time staff and 14 international students. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority released its review of the college said it had no confidence in its educational performance and capability in self-assessment, and rated it :poor; for learning achievement, programmes, guidance, international student support and management of the college.

Ginseng significantly improved fatigue in cancer patients after just 8 weeks
Medical Daily, 4 June 2012

High doses of the herb American ginseng helped patients fight cancer-related fatigue, according to Mayo Clinic researchers. Ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine as a natural energy booster for thousands of years, and scientists have recently found that the herb can also fight off debilitating fatigue that occurs in up to 90% of cancer patients, Mayo researcher Debra Barton said in a statement, adding that the herb had no apparent side effects. Barton said that cancer-related fatigue can last up to five years after chemotherapy or radiation treatment and exhaustion can be associated with greater inflammation and an inability to regulate stress hormones, like cortisol.

Confucius Institute makes push for TCM
Chinadaily.com, 6 June 2012

A new Confucius Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine - the first of its kind established with the cooperation of a foreign medical institute - is expected to open said Gao Sihua, president of the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. The institute, located at the Hyogo College of Medicine in Japan, will offer TCM, as well as health preservation and disease prevention studies in addition to Chinese language teaching. There are more than 350 Confucius Institutes worldwide, including two specially dedicated to TCM studies at the London South Bank University and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. :It's a bit different for this new college, because it's the first time the Confucius Institute is cooperating with a medical school abroad,; said Zhang Liping, head of the international cooperation office of the university.

Chinese-style meditation linked to brain changes
Asianscientist.com, 13 June 2012

Scientists report that practising Chinese mindfulness meditation regularly for a month may lead to positive behavioral changes and structural changes in the brain. In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists Yi-Yuan Tang and Michael Posner report that the technique, known as integrative body-mind training (IBMT), caused a change in structural efficiency of white matter in the brain of subjects. Positive mood changes coincided with increased axonal density - more brain-signaling connections - and an expansion of myelin, the protective fatty tissue that surrounds the axons, in the brain・s anterior cingulate region. Deficits in the anterior cingulate cortex have been associated with dementia, depression, and schizophrenia, among others.

Top Chinese traditional medicine firm expand overseas
English.cri.cn, 19 June 2012

Tong Ren Tang is aiming to double the number of its retail outlets overseas to 100 by the end of this year. Ding Yongling, deputy general manager, said the company will open not just new outlets for their products abroad but also museums that will showcase the best of traditional Chinese medicine and conduct lectures and seminars on Chinese traditional drugs as well. Most of its retail outlets outside China have experienced traditional Chinese medicine physicians who offer diagnostic services, including acupuncture and massage. The company's goal is to increase its export earnings to some 56 million U.S. dollars in 2015. In 2011, its exports totaled 33.9 million U.S. dollars, up 21% year on year.

Traditional oriental clinics run scams: health watchdog
Saigon-gpdaily.com.vn, 21 June 2012

After receiving several complaints from patients visiting traditional Chinese medicine clinics in Ho Chi Minh City, health authorities inspected these facilities and were horrified with the conditions, management practices and total violation of rules. The inspection team found an assortment of medicines, transfusion fluids and injections bearing Chinese markings that were being used in the clinic even though they did not have approved license to sell in Vietnam. Moreover, the clinic says it is running only as a traditional oriental medicine clinic, but it practices other health services like obstetrics, ultrasound and diagnosis testing. Dr. Le Minh Hai, head of the management board of private medical centers in HCMC said health watchdogs check carefully before giving business certificates but it is hard to discover wrongdoings at these clinics because they have many tricks to extract money out of patients and evade inspections.

Beijing primary schools to launch TCM classes
China Daily, 25 June 2012

Primary schools in Beijing will introduce traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) cultural classes next semester. A textbook on TCM has been published by the Beijing TCM Administration and Beijing Municipal Commission of Education to promote TCM culture classes in schools. The book will cover TCM legends and stories that are easy to comprehend for school children. The classes will not be compulsory and there will be no tests of TCM in order to encourage carrying forward traditional culture in schools. Compilation of the TCM textbooks for secondary schools is also underway and may be finished by next year, the paper said.

Chinese :mushroom of immortality; genome mapped
Usatoday.com, 26 June 2012

Used in Chinese medicine for centuries, the Lingzhi .mushroom of immortality・ or Ganoderma lucidum, has added to the ranks of gene-mapped organisms. It has :antitumour, antihypertensive, antiviral and immunomodulatory,; properties, notes the Nature Communications study led by Shilin Chen of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College. Overall, the mushroom possesses more than 12,600 genes packed into 13 chromosomes, the researchers report. The genome reveals steps used to create them, the study authors find, useful for labs. The genome sequence will make it possible to realize the full potential of G. lucidum as a source of pharmacologically active compounds and industrial enzymes the study concludes.

TCM Bill to regulate industry
Thestar.com.my, 28 June 2012

Malaysia, traditional and Complementary Medicine (TCM) practitioners will be required to be registered and work at hospitals and medical institutions approved by a council. TCM practitioners must apply to the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Council to be provisionally registered and must undergo a residency of not less than one year with any hospital or institution identified by the council. Anyone who fails to register with the council or a practitioner who practises in a non-recognized area will be subject to a RM30,000 fine, two years・ jail or both upon conviction. A maximum fine of RM50,000, three years・ jail or both will be imposed on repeat offenders.

Medicines containing flying squirrel poo could be heading to Australia
The Daily Telegraph, 29 June 2012

Certain types of droppings have long been used in TCM, although their importation has been banned under Australia's tough quarantine laws. But that changed with officials altering the rules for medicinal and therapeutic products containing animal excrement. To ensure there is no risk to the country・s biosecurity, any dung-containing imports will be blasted with gamma radiation once they reach the shores. Chinese Medicine Industry Council of Australia president Max Ma admitted the use of animal droppings was rare, with silkworm and flying squirrel droppings the only two regularly used. Australian Medical Association president Dr Steve Hambleton said it was unclear what the radiation treatment would do to the droppings.

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