Therefore, when I found myself on a long trip through China, I did not miss the opportunity to discover what is true and what is fiction. In fact, I first got a taste of the capabilities of local healers 15 years ago. That’s how it was. For some time now I began to regularly experience long bouts of debilitating coughing. Visits to doctors, clinics and scientific institutes did not bring any results: the attacks invaded me more and more frequently. Life became unbearable. And then one of my friends advised me: “Go to Shaolin, there is a doctor there who will definitely cure you.”
Come on. In a village next to the famous monastery, a Chinese man named Chen agreed to cure me. He tortured my body with needles, lit some candles in my stomach and also tormented me with qigong gymnastics, forced me to drink herbal teas and take long walks in the surrounding hills. I returned to Moscow thinner and refreshed. However, after a while, the illness returned and I went to Shaolin again, and this time the effect of the needles, massage and qigong was no longer so strong.
Individual treatment does not only consist of herbs, roots and plants, but also moxibustion, cupping, massage and acupuncture.
In those same years, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) centers, with the full range of medicinal products that Dr. Chen demonstrated, began to appear like mushrooms after the rain in Moscow and other Russian cities. We can say that the fashion for traditional Chinese medicine has arrived.
What is the situation with this matter in China itself?
In Shanghai, in the so-called neighborhoods. In the old town, intended exclusively for tourists, there is a whole complex: a pharmacy with ancient medicines, a museum of traditional Chinese medicine, a clinic of traditional Chinese medicine and even a tea house where you will be delighted with infusions of medicinal herbs.
They offered me to monitor my health through my pulse. Although the doctor actually asked me to stick out my tongue, he gave me a visual exam and asked me a couple more questions. Finally, after taking her pulse, he issued a verdict: “You look good for your age, there are no problems with the blood vessels, however, there is excess moisture in the body.” He advised me to eat less butter and fatty foods to lose weight and bid me farewell peacefully. Approximately the same verdict was given to my colleague, who was following.
The manager of this establishment, a slender young woman named Jia Xiaowei, initially experienced obvious discomfort when speaking to the RG correspondent. She gave the impression that she was clearly afraid of saying something unnecessary. This sweet lady always tried to talk about the history of her pharmacy, how she started it all two centuries ago. But I was firm:
– Tell me, what is traditional Chinese medicine? What is truth and what is fiction?
At first, Ms. Jia hesitated, but then she was able to formulate a completely politically correct answer:
“This is part of our culture,” he gave a simple formula. However, he immediately started doing his homework: -Our pharmacy is 240 years old. We not only treat, but also maintain the health of our patients. Our principle: preserve traditions and use innovations. Take ginseng, for example, the root of which is the basis of many of our medicines. You can simply crush it and dilute it with alcohol; It will be bitter and tasteless, or you can make jelly or something like jam.
– What does the average Chinese prefer if they feel bad? Medications from your pharmacy or common medications from a modern pharmacy?
According to traditional Chinese medicine, bamboo cupping is good for migraines. Photo: Canal Uno
He thought again, as if he was afraid of dropping something bad. Finally she said:
– The effect of modern pharmacology is achieved quickly, but ours is longer and more suitable for the treatment of chronic diseases.
– Do I understand correctly that your most popular medicines are based on ginseng?
– Yes, and the second component is cordyceps, a root from Tibet, fungal spores, this medicine is good for oncology. You should know that one of the secrets of Chinese medicine is the following: for each person, the doctor prepares an individual treatment, which includes not only herbs, roots, plants, but also acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping and massage. And the methods for preparing tinctures are also different: there are many of them.
– What can we say about the current state of traditional medicine? Is it disappearing or, on the contrary, is it improving?
Madam Jia thought again and began to consult with her colleagues. She then launched into this tirade:
– We are now in a period of development. Because the State supports us.
He also said that between 5 and 10 thousand people visit his center daily. When he said goodbye he gave each of us a plastic bottle with a greenish liquid.
– This is an infusion of the herb Dendrobium, it is good for the heart and is good during this period.
The Chinese year is divided into 24 periods according to the lunar calendar. And each one has their own herbal infusion.
Regarding state support, the owner of the Shanghai pharmacy did not exaggerate at all. In China, the principles and methods of traditional Chinese medicine are taught in higher education institutions, and medical diplomas issued there allow you to work in any medical institution. Gynecologist Chen Sihui, who just graduated from Shanghai University of Traditional Medicine and now works at the TCM center in Hangzhou, told me about this. This is a private medical institution, in a city of 12 million inhabitants there are three such centers, for the appointment you have to pay 30 yuan (400 rubles in our money). How is the reception going?
“Just like any other clinic,” Chen replied. – We start with the diagnosis: we look at the face, we listen to the voice, we take the pulse, we interview the patient. Of course, we do not ignore modern methods, such as x-rays, tests…
I asked him why acupuncture is so popular here.
– Because after the needles there is immediate relief.
– How popular is your center?
– We have more and more patients. First of all, they believe us. Secondly, people are experiencing more and more stress.
During my subsequent trip through Chinese cities, I did not miss the opportunity to ask my interlocutors (they were different people: businessmen, officials, journalists, scientists, party workers) where they prefer to get rid of diseases: in traditional medicine centers China or in regular centers. clinics? Most of the surveyed citizens answered this: for basic treatment, it is better to go to a clinic or government clinic, but to restore and maintain health, old methods are sufficient.
In other words, traditional medicine is not considered a panacea for all diseases, but rather a means of supporting the immune system, one of the methods of rehabilitation.
Another interesting thing is this. There are many traditional medicine museums in China. And this is evidence that she is truly part of Chinese culture and history. There they honor the memory of the “medicinal king” Sun Simiao, considered the founder of traditional Chinese medicine. Already in the 7th century AD he managed to systematize all previous knowledge, wrote 30 medical books and, in a word, launched the process that has successfully survived to this day. And today the most modern treatment methods are combined here with the proven secrets of ancient healers.