Home > Current Events > Year 2015 November
A review of stories making the headlines.

Acupuncture actually works for neck pain, study says
Time.com , 2 November 2015

People who practiced acupuncture or the Alexander Technique had greater pain reductions than those who got standard treatment. Two alternative therapies get a boost of scientific legitimacy in a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. A year after people had significant reductions in neck pain that compared to those who just got usual care. The interventions also gave people more self-efficacy, which were linked to better pain outcomes.

Toxic, not healthy: surprising liver dangers of herbal products
Everydayhealth.com , 5 November 2015

An "all-natural" herbal product might sound good for your health, but some common ones, like green tea extract and comfrey tea, can cause injury to your liver, the organ that breaks down medications. Drug-induced liver injury is on the rise as herbal and dietary supplements have become more popular over the last decade, according to the American College of Gastroenterology. Because of the potential risks, it's important to take precautions if you decide to use an herbal product.

5 top beauty and longevity tips of China's Empress Dowager Cixi
Womenofchina.cn , 6 November 2015

Empress Dowager Cixi, the regent who effectively controlled the China government in the late Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) for 47 years, enjoyed longevity of 74 years at a time when life expectancy in the country was around 50. Studies on the historical medical records found five main points for her prolong life: delicate diet; menstruation regulation and liver care; meticulous prescriptions for hair care; regular and harmony daily routine, keep young and open minded.

Sick birds flock to Singapore veterinarian for avian acupuncture
Channelnewsasia.com , 6 November 2015

Over the past year, the veterinarian at Jurong Bird Park has used avian acupuncture to treat at least 20 birds suffering from a range of conditions, including head trauma and mental disorders such as stress. First used on livestock and production animals such as horses and cows many years ago, veterinary acupuncture has gained popularity as a complement to conventional treatment. Avian acupuncture has become more established only in recent years.

China's first science Nobel Prize exposes anxiety on research
Rsc.org , 10 November 2015

China has been celebrating its first and long-awaited Nobel Prize in the sciences, but the controversy that surrounds the awarding of the prize to Tu Youyou also highlights powerful tensions within its research system. Unlike other senior Chinese scientists, Tu has no PhD and never trained overseas. She is also not a member of the elite Chinese Academy of Sciences, which has led to some criticising the country's scientific establishment for its lack of innovative research, despite surging research funding in recent years.

Regence lowers acupuncture rates in Washington
Thelundreport.org , 11 November 2015

Acupuncturists in Washington breathed a sigh of relief after learning Regence BlueShield would only cut their reimbursement rates by 10% only. Research shows that acupuncture is cost effective for insurers and for employers, it was less expensive than some other medical care and pharmaceuticals, an economic substitute for pain medication. Also a typical visit includes dietary and lifestyle recommendations, which could have an effect on the utilization of laxatives, antacids, antidiarrheals, antiemetics, ulcer medications and digestive aids.

Why China's 'fat' women refuse to sweat it out in the gym
Telegraph.co.uk , 12 November 2015

The average woman in China is now 1.7kgs (almost 4lbs) heavier than a decade ago, however working out in a gym is a relatively new concept for most. A woman huffing, puffing and drenched in sweat is a rare sight in China. Traditional Chinese Medicine has a big influence on perceptions of the female body and what it's capable of physically. Many Chinese believe that strenuous exercise is actually bad for women, as a women's body is intrinsically weaker man and so requires special nurturing.

China's wildlife disappearing, new report says
Blogs.wsj.com , 13 November 2015

China's wildlife is vanishing at an alarming clip. The Middle Kingdom's population of terrestrial vertebrates has fallen by nearly one half over the past four decades. China's demands on the environment have more than doubled since the 1970s, as the country's living standards have risen. But there is one bright spot emerged, that the per-capita figure in Beijing and Shanghai has actually dropped, thanks to improved energy efficiency.

With one-child policy gone, assisted reproduction could rise
Yourhealth.asiaone.com , 14 November 2015

There were around 17 million live births in China last year, with the nationwide two-child policy in place, the country could expect an additional 3 million babies to be born in the next five years, creating a "small baby boom." Of the 90 million Chinese women able to now have second children if they wanted, half are between the ages of 40 and 49, 12.5% of them is likely infertile. More than 80% of Chinese women tend to accept TCM treatment for infertility, and would need with or without assisted reproduction.

Researchers wrestle with how traditional Chinese herbs work
Bdlive.co.za , 17 November 2015

A Nobel Prize went this year to a discovery derived from TCM. Thousands of researchers across China are seeking to replicate the achievement by simplifying the complex treatments prescribed by traditional practitioners to derive products for sale across the globe. Scientists use a variety of strategies to test the basis of traditional medicines and make them easier to commercialize. At one extreme, hospitals are doing clinical trials of herbal mixtures, at the other extreme, some people are isolating individual compounds from herbs.

University of Malta and the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine inaugurate new Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine at the UOM
Maltatoday.com.mt , 17 November 2015

The University of Malta and the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SHUTCM) have inaugurated the Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine at the University of Malta’s Msida campus. The Centre allows healthcare practitioners, who enrolled as students, to acquire skills in clinical practice of TCM to complement their theoretical studies. It is the first one of its kind for SHUTCM outside China.

Traditional Chinese medicine, other nonpharmacological interventions benefit cancer patients
News-medical.net , 18 November 2015

A meta-analysis of dozens of studies of TCM and other nonpharmacological interventions meant to improve patients' quality of life affirms that these approaches, on the whole, help alleviate depression, fatigue, pain, anxiety, insomnia and gastrointestinal problems in Chinese cancer patients. It confirmed that TCM enhanced global quality of life for Chinese cancer patients. The team started with 6,500 studies published in journals in China and 23,000 studies from Western journals.

Use of aconitine may lead to severe poisoning, warns Chinese physicians report
News-medical.net , 19 November 2015

Chinese physicians report on the case of a woman who presented with aconitine-induced cardiovascular symptoms. Their report, published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, warns that the use of this natural ingredient may lead to severe poisoning. The doctor advises clinicians to be aware of what their patients are taking and be prepared to discuss alternative remedies, at least at a basic level.

Spotlight: China to train more talents for Southeast Asia through higher-education cooperation
English.news.cn , 21 November 2015

China has set up Confucius Institutes around the world to help other nations better understand Chinese culture and language. With economic ties between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) growing ever closer, an increasing number of Chinese enterprises have set up companies and carried out investment in these countries. They are in dire need of professionals who understand the languages and cultures of both sides. Exchanges in education help solve the problem.

Cooperation in public health and healthcare is new highlight of China-US Economic and Trade Cooperation
Fmprc.gov.cn , 23 November 2015

Vice Premier Wang Yang jointly attended the seminar on China-US cooperation in public health and healthcare with Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Trade Representative Michael Froman of the US. He pointed out that China hopes the US government and enterprises will pay attention to China's concerns, deepen their understanding of traditional Chinese medicine and advance relevant legislation work to allow TCM institutions to be set up in more US states.

Red flag for acupuncture
Scoop.co.nz , 25 November 2015

The Society for Science Based Healthcare has had a complaint upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority against a misleading advertisement for acupuncture. The sign promoted the "Health Benefits of Acupuncture" and listed various conditions including arthritis, facial paralysis, apoplexy, herpes zoster, and infantile malnutrition. The clinic responded that ACC has recognised the benefits of acupuncture and since 2005 it has been accepted in practice by physiotherapists, osteopaths and the likes.

Rhino horn sells for $228K at Vancouver auction
Nationalpost.com , 26 November 2015

A 19th century rhinoceros horn was estimated to sell for $20,000 at a recent auction. But a "grand battle" erupted between four Asian bidders and when the smoke cleared, it had sold for $228,000. Normally, high-priced antiques are cherished as objects. But rhino horns can be worth a small fortune because they’re used in traditional Chinese medicine and some people believe they’re an aphrodisiac. The seller Hugh Bulmer believed it will be ground up.

China to boost nonprofit TCM services
Globalpost.com , 28 November 2015

China is planning more and better nonprofit hospitals specializing in TCM in a bid to rapidly develop the country's TCM industry. A comprehensive reform will focus on state-owned TCM hospitals at county and city levels to strengthen their nonprofit nature. It set the goal that each city and county should have at least one public TCM hospital, and these hospitals should have more business cooperation and personnel exchanges with the ones owned by other individuals and groups.

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