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Table of Contents
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 93-94

Discover and Unfold the Mystery of Chinese Medicine

Department of Postgraduate Program, International Education College, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China

Date of Web Publication19-Jun-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Lin Xun
International Education College, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/CMAC.CMAC_9_19

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This article shares my experience and journey in Chinese Medicine where I started back in 2014 in Malaysia for my bachelor's degree, and subsequently led me in continuing my postgraduate studies in Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Keywords: China, Chinese medicine, experience sharing, journey, Malaysia

How to cite this article:
Sia SK, Xun L. Discover and Unfold the Mystery of Chinese Medicine. Chin Med Cult 2019;2:93-4

How to cite this URL:
Sia SK, Xun L. Discover and Unfold the Mystery of Chinese Medicine. Chin Med Cult [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Nov 12];2:93-4. Available from: http://www.cmaconweb.org/text.asp?2019/2/2/93/260714

My journey in Chinese Medicine started back in 2014 when I joined the Chinese medicine programme in International Medical University (国际医科大学, IMU), Malaysia. Before joining the university, I had been working in St. John Ambulance of Malaysia (马来西亚圣约翰急救中心) [Figure 1] since high school, and it has taught me much not only on first-aid skills but also shaped me to voluntarily help people in need with its motto “for the service of mankind.” Since then, it is my hope to be enrolled into a degree that could provide me a platform to help the sufferers to regain happiness and health. Many options were offered to me when I have completed my preuniversity program, and due to the strong curiosity of the long history of Chinese philosophy, evolution, and essence of one of the oldest form of medicine in the world, I chose to venture into Chinese Medicine.
Figure 1: A group photo of St. John Ambulance of Malaysia(马来西亚圣约翰急救中心)

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When I first started my university bachelor's degree in Chinese medicine, I was very fortunate and blessed, to be awarded with the university (IMU) scholarship with full tuition fee waiver, which allows me, the eldest child in the family, to pursue the studies without burdening my retired parents who have to support my two younger siblings yet to graduate from university.

Along the way of learning Chinese Medicine, I was exposed to various Chinese philosophies and concepts such as Qi(气), Yin(阴), and Yang(阳), and the five elements(五行), which forms the fundamental of Chinese medicine theories. The ancient physicians related their observations of clinical practices and experiences with the Chinese philosophy and created many interesting theories. For instance, an ancient philosopher, Lao Zi (老子) mentioned in the Chapter 42 of Tao Te Ching (《道德经》), said “Tao produced one; one produced two; two produced three; three produced all things(道生一,一生二,二生三,三生万物).” All things leave behind them the obscurity and go forward to embrace the brightness, while they are harmonized by mutual combinations.

This philosophy was later adopted by ancient physicians who viewed that the Tao, which is also known as the process of nature, produces one thing which is symbolized by Qi. Qi produces two things, Yin and Yang, [Figure 2] which subsequently produce all things in nature. Therefore, all things in the universe can be categorized by either Yin or Yang, and each is able to keep the other in balance to achieve harmony.
Figure 2: Diagram of Yin and Yang(阴阳图)

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Many who do not understand the Chinese philosophy might feel that the theory of Chinese medicine which originates from these philosophies are very vague and not able to relate how these philosophies can be used clinically to treat patients. However, during the clinical phase of my bachelor's degree, I have witnessed how these thoughts helped the diagnosis and treatment for patients, and it is always a satisfaction to see patients recover from their illness.

In the final year of my bachelor's education, all students were required to see patients independently as interns in the University of Chinese medicine clinic under the supervision of a qualified Chinese medicine physician. During my internship program, I had been receiving patients mostly with orthopedic-related conditions such as sprained Ankle, low back pain and frozen shoulders, which later played a huge role in developing my interest in Chinese medicine osteopathology traumatology. Most of the time, patients were satisfied with the treatment as their conditions were relieved and that gave me some confidence as I was trying to get as much clinical experience as possible.

Once a patient came in with complaints of low back pain [Figure 3] accompanied with tingling sensation down the lower limbs and was suspected of a prolapsed lumbar disc, as physical examinations and signs are positive toward the diagnosis. In the hope of relieving the pain temporarily, acupuncture was given under the supervision of qualified physicians. However, when the treatment ended, the patient felt sudden muscle weakness and severe pain on the low back when asked to stand up. The patient was immediately rested on the bed and reassured before asking for help from the physician-in-charge. At last, the patient's pain was relieved after the physician inserted several needles at a few acupuncture points. After the incident, I realized although I was on the verge of completing my bachelor's degree, there are so much more to learn, and clinical experiences are needed to handle unexpected conditions. At that time, I decided that I shall take a step further to learn more from veteran physicians, to impart new knowledge and improve myself to care for my future patients better.
Figure 3: Medicine-practicing for low-back pain

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Once I attended a lecture on the core thoughts of Chinese medicine, and the message that I have perceived was the thoughts of Chinese philosophers are always based on observation of universal phenomenon, also known as Xiang Si Wei (象思维), while the Western philosophies are based on a form of logic system inherited from the Greek philosophers and seek answers through systematic experiments. Therefore, it is said that the Chinese thoughts of philosophies are important to raise wisdom questions while Western thoughts of philosophies are important to solve wisdom questions with wisdom answers. Both thoughts of philosophies are important, and one cannot compromise the other.

Therefore, after achieving my bachelor degree in Chinese Medicine in Malaysia, I realized that what I have learned in Chinese medicine could only help and relieve sufferings for certain patients but there might be limitations on certain diseases and to my knowledge, some diseases are well treated by Western medicine, and some have good recovery with integration of both Chinese and Western medicine.

My bachelor's degree curriculum comprised 70% Chinese Medicine subjects and 30% of Western Medicine subjects, which makes it compulsory for students to study and understand the basic sciences concept and terms. Considering the fact that we are the new generation of Chinese medicine graduates who go through the proper university education system, we had the opportunity to not only equip ourselves with the Chinese medicine knowledge [Figure 4] but also handle and understand cases better with sufficient basic sciences knowledge. As we move into the 21st century, Chinese Medicine has to evolve itself and keep up with the current technology and shall not stay stagnant at where it is like in the old days. The new era of Chinese medicine shall remain its authenticity, but at the same time, incorporate modern technologies that could help to improve the accuracy of diagnosis and shorten patients' recovery time. As health-care professionals, our main responsibility is to ensure the well-being and recovery of patients, at the same time to reduce the rate of misdiagnosis to the minimum.
Figure 4: Better healthcare opportunity

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China is one of the leading countries practicing integration of both Western and Chinese Medicine in treating patients, and with the eagerness and thirst to learn and discover more on orthopedic injuries, I have chosen to move on to pursue my Masters program in Chinese Medicine Osteopathology Traumatology in Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SHUTCM). I am very fortunate to have obtained a full scholarship from the China scholarship council to further my studies there and I am looking forward to my upcoming journey in SHUTCM, which is one of the renowned Chinese Medicine University in China, to get more exposures and clinical experience in dealing with orthopedic injuries, so as to benefit my future patients with more effective treatment methods.

Chinese Medicine has been an outstanding and unique system of medicine lasting for 5000 years, and it takes a lifetime to learn and discover the essence of it. As my lecturers always remind all of us, learning Chinese medicine, in the beginning, is easy, but it is tough to master the essence of it. Over the few thousands of years, the system of Chinese medicine has various schools of thoughts, with different perspectives on how ancient literature is interpreted, which makes it more interesting and challenging to slowly discover and understand the mystery of this ancient medicine.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]


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