Home > Current Events > Year 2014 December
A review of stories making the headlines.

TCM offers glimpse of hope for HIV treatment
Shanghaidaily.com , 1 December 2014

China's national TCM pilot project for HIV treatment was launched by the Ministry of Health in 2004, which provided free TCM treatment in five provinces. The trial program has been extended to 19 provinces so far, with direct central finance investment reaching 530 million yuan in total, and over 26,000 patients had treated. The project includes using combination therapies consisting of TCM and antiviral drugs as well as applying herbal abstracts to directly suppress the virus load and help the human body to reclaim its immunity.

Advice for traditional medicine practitioners
Thesundaily.my , 4 December 2014

The government will be flexible in registering traditional and complementary medicine practitioners in the first round but will be strict once the law and regulations are fully enforced, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said. The Act is to give them accreditation and so they must comply with the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Council. There will be sub-committees representing the various sections of practices in the industry and will also require the registration of medication and herbs used.

Curing chronic neck pain with acupuncture
Newindianexpress.com , 6 December 2014

Neck pain is one of the three most frequently reported complaints of the musculoskeletal system. Acupuncture has been used as an alternative to more traditional treatments for musculoskeletal pain. A review found that the specific effects of acupuncture are short-term but have important clinical treatment benefits. The number of acupuncture treatment sessions is associated with outcome, and ideally there should be at least six or more sessions.

Western and Chinese physicians to jointly look into efficacy of TCM on dry eyes
Straitstimes.com , 8 December 2014

A study funded by the Ministry of Health, Western and TCM doctors will look into how effective TCM treatments for dry eyes. The Singapore Eye Research Institute (Seri) and the Singapore Chung Hwa Medical Institution, which has certified TCM physicians, hope to recruit 150 patients for the study. The patients will be divided into three groups: 50 treated with only eye drops, 50 with acupuncture and eye drops and the other 50 with herbal remedies and eye drops. They will receive treatment for four weeks.

Chinese medicine goes down well
Thestandard.com.hk , 9 December 2014

Watsons has started to provide a Chinese medicine service at selected stores. The TCM services cover general consultation, acupuncture, cupping, gua sha and ear acupuncture. Prescriptions of concentrated Chinese medicine granules are convenient to use. Apart from promoting Chinese medicine, the new service creates extra career opportunities for the more than 100 students who graduate locally from Chinese medicine programs at university every year.

Blocking obesity-induced inflammation with Chinese liquorice
Asianscientist.com , 9 December 2014

Isoliquiritigenin, a compound isolated from the Chinese liquorice plant, could prevent inflammation triggered by high-fat diets. Recent work demonstrates a critical role for obesity-driven inflammation in a multitude of medical problems arising from obesity with a central role for the inflammasome, said by Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. This new work not only identifies a novel class of potential inflammasome inhibitors, but also demonstrates effectiveness in a preclinical model of obesity induced disease.

Former businessman gave up lucrative job to save charity TCM clinic
The Straits Times , 10 December 2014

As a businessman, Mr. Toh Soon Huat quit the private sector and be the chairman of Sian Chay Medical Institution. When he took over in 2008, the 113-year-old charity clinic was in dire straits, unable to draw enough donations and seemed to be on the verge of closing down. But six years later, the charity clinic, Singapore's second oldest, is in the pink of health and growing fast. Sian Chay plans to set up 14 more branches in the next five years, building a string of affordable TCM outlets in the heartland.

Engaging traditional medicine providers in colorectal cancer screening education in a Chinese American community
Cdc.gov , 11 December 2014

Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is effective in preventing colon cancer, but it remains underused by Asian Americans. A pilot study to explore the feasibility and acceptability of having TCM providers deliver education about CRC screening, the findings suggest that TCM providers can be trained to deliver culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach on CRC screening within their community.

Taipei tests find some Chinese herbs high in toxic levels
Taipeitimes.com , 12 December 2014

While TCM herbs are often viewed as a good source of nutrients, some of them have been found to contain dangerous levels of heavy metals, the Taipei City Government's Department of Legal Affairs said. The department tested samples of 62 products and found that several contained excess amounts of heavy metals. The officer said consumers should only purchase traditional medicine from large, reputable suppliers, whose high turnovers also reduce the risk of consumers being exposed to aflatoxin.

Osteopath left acupuncture needles sticking out of a patient's BOTTOM while he popped out to get a sausage roll
Dailymail.co.uk , 12 December 2014

An osteopath left acupuncture needles sticking out of a patient's backside while he nipped off to a café for sausage rolls. Paul Bolton was suspended from practising for 12 months, fined $3000 (£1,490) and ordered to pay $45,714 ((£22,700) towards the costs of the investigation and hearing. Britain's General Osteopathic Council also said he was not registered as an osteopath in the country and therefore not entitled to practice using the term.

The effectiveness of integrative medicine interventions on pain and anxiety in cardiovascular inpatients: a practice-based research evaluation
7thspace.com , 13 December 2014

Pain and anxiety occurring from cardiovascular disease are associated with long-term health risks. Integrative medicine (IM) therapies reduce pain and anxiety in small samples of hospitalized cardiovascular patients within randomized controlled trials. Cardiovascular inpatients reported statistically significant decreases in pain and anxiety following care with adjunctive IM interventions. This study underscores the potential for future practice-based research.

Sick owls given acupuncture to help return to wild
Metro.co.uk , 14 December 2014

Owls actually have acupuncture to help them recover, which has undergone treatment after he flew into a stovepipe at a factory in Madrid, injuring his back. The use of the ancient Chinese technique in animals is growing worldwide, according to the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. Acupuncturist vets recommend it in animals for muscle and joint problems, such as the owl's bad back, as well as for nerve, skin, breathing and gut complaints.

Acupuncture beats gabapentin for hot flashes in RCT
Oncologypractice.com , 16 December 2014

Electroacupuncture proved significantly more effective than gabapentin for treatment of hot flashes in breast cancer survivors in a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Acupuncture was far better tolerated as well. From a baseline mean hot flash score of 14.3, scores dropped by a mean of 7.4 points by week 8 in the electroacupuncture recipients. Acupuncture also showed a durable treatment benefit at 24 weeks.

The hunt for botanicals
Medicalxpress.com , 19 December 2014

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science. A number of herbal medicinal products such as those used in TCM have been reported to have some effect on fibrosis, but robust scientific evidence of these botanicals as safe and effective anti-fibrotic therapeutics is lacking. Some botanicals have been implicated in causing fibrosis.

Taipei luxury hotel criticized for serving rabbit meat
The China Post , 19 December 2014

The Sherwood Taipei suffered major online criticism that it's restaurant served rabbit meat as part of its seasonal winter menu, which puts emphasis on specialty rabbit, snake, turtle, and other rarely consumed animals. The hotel stated that their sale of rabbit meat was entirely legal and they do not plan to change their winter menu. The Facebook event for boycotting the sale of rabbit meat was started by a rabbit owner surnamed Lin.

Foreigners flock to Taoism for natural balance
Asiaone.com , 26 December 2014

After spending 19 years studying Taoist medical practices, Bernard Shannon opened his own temple in California in 2006. There were only a handful of disciples and a few visitors, people came to me primarily for medical qigong or tai chi lessons he said. The temple now has 50 disciples, and four of them have been authorised to establish temples across the United States, the Taoist philosophy is becoming much more popular.

Man earns money by catching ants in Jiangxi
Chinadaily.com.cn , 29 December 2014

Chen Heyin, a man lives in a village in East China's Jiangxi province, has been supporting his family by catching and selling ants. The ants are called silky ants which is a variety used in TCM. After catching the ants, he freezes them to death, then cleaned and fried. The fried ants are sold in about 1,600 yuan ($257) per kilogram. He can earn 50,000 to 60,000 yuan a year.

Researchers compare analgesic effect of manual vs laser acupuncture lateral epicondylalgia
Medicalxpress.com , 29 December 2014

A team of researchers from China Medical University and Da-Chien General Hospital in Taiwan recently compared the analgesic effect of laser acupuncture and manual acupuncture for the treatment of lateral epicondylalgia. The team conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare the results of two, which confirmed that manual acupuncture applied to lateral epicondylalgia produces stronger evidence of pain relief than the laser acupuncture does.

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner comes to aide of Thai flight attendant
Chiangraitimes.com , 30 December 2014

On flight OX618, from Nanning to Bangkok on Christmas Day, a male flight attendant was suffering from abdomen colic and needed immediate help. Qu Yan a retired TCM practitioner then proceeded to lie the man on the ground and check his pulse. After deciding that his condition was stable, she told the pilot there was no need to turn the plane around as the flight attendant was fit enough to last the three-hour flight. She said painkillers would not relieve his pain but instead suggested a massage to help ease the spasm.

China: businessman jailed for 13 years for eating tigers and drinking their blood
Ibtimes.co.uk , 30 December 2014

A Chinese businessman has been jailed for 13 years for buying and eating three tigers. The wealthy real estate developer had a special hobby of grilling tiger bones, boning tiger paws, storing tiger penis, eating tiger meat and drinking tiger-blood alcohol. He organised trips for people to buy and eat slaughtered tigers. Police seized tiger meat, bones and penis from his home.

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