In an attempt to educate young students about traditional Chinese medicine and its potential in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the UP Chinese Student Association (UPCSA) hosted a seminar at Balay Kalinaw inside the UP Diliman campus on 23 November 2022. The seminar was moderated by Dr. Lourdes Tanhueco-Nepomuceno, the director of the Confucius Institute at UP Diliman. The speakers were Dr. Qiming Zheng, the Chairman of the Philippine TCM Center, and Dr. Baoyan Liu, the President of the World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies.
Both speakers emphasized how both approaches are important in developing cures for COVID-19. While Western medicine has been at the forefront in the production of vaccines and the dissemination of knowledge about the virus, traditional Chinese medicine helps us understand overall well-being and latent issues inside the body as a deterrent. A healthy overall system makes one less vulnerable to COVID-19.
Traditional Chinese medicine is known for its distinct approach to disease prevention and cure. It views the body as one interconnected system. In treating pains and diseases, it examines the body’s overall condition and response to treatment. This is in contrast to Western medicine that views the system in parts and focuses on curing specific symptoms and their causes. The inability of Western medicine to foresee adverse effects in administering treatments for symptoms can be addressed by the holistic approach of traditional Chinese medicine. As such, traditional Chinese medicine can help strengthen the body and mitigate sicknesses.
The seminar also explained how several traditional Chinese remedies such as Lianhua Qingwen capsules were effective and how they were of help to clients of the speakers’ organizations during the early stages of the pandemic. Both speakers also expressed their desire to promote TCM Therapy as an effective way of treating diseases by providing quality TCM education to local practitioners and maintaining linkages with experts worldwide. They also wished to reach out to grassroot organizations and assist different government agencies in the Philippines in standardizing TCM practice to ensure safety and proper practices.
The seminar also featured acupuncture and cupping therapy, and allowed several participants to undergo treatment firsthand. Participants have mostly reported pain relief a few seconds after both treatments. A guzheng (a Chinese musical instrument) instrument performance by Wenjun Yan and a display of Chinese calligraphy by Jianne Uy also helped make the event more interesting and lively. The seminar helped build a greater awareness on the approaches and methods of traditional Chinese medicine and its potential in defeating the COVID-19 pandemic and building healthier lives.