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Traditional Chinese medicine has its believers and detractors. (Hedy Khoo/SPH)

Western medicine or Chinese medicine? China's TCM regulations spark debate

TCM treatment is said to have played a role in the fight against Covid-19 in China. The Beijing authorities recently sought public views on a set of proposed regulations on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which includes articles that mention punishments for those who “defame and slander” TCM. A furore ensued as the public worried about the expansiveness of the proposed law. Oxford University visiting researcher Hayson Wang thinks hard about what lies at the nub of the issue and what TCM proponents must do to bring TCM practice into the mainstream.
In this photo taken on 26 May 2020, a traditional Chinese medicine staff is making a presciption used to remove dampness in the body at the affiliated hospital of Changchun University of Chinese Medicine in Jilin, China. (Zhang Yao/CNS)

The TCM way to Covid-19: Treat the body, not the virus

Professor Goh Chye Tee from Nanyang Technological University explains the treatment protocols recommended by the Chinese authorities in using traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) remedies in the treatment of Covid-19. He posits that one path to health can be a person-centric approach, where the focus lies on restoring balance in the body, rather than the virus that is making the attack.