Natural Healing

February 7, 2020

Chinese medicine recognised by WHO


For the first time in its history, the World Health Organization (WHO) will be recognizing traditional medicines in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The landmark decision from the compilers of the influential medical compendium means that Chinese medicine is set to travel far overseas.

Chinese medicinal practitioners around the world celebrated the news, hailing it as a victory for traditional Chinese medicine in China and overseas. The ICD is influential in standardizing and classifying diagnoses, structuring medical coverage, giving guidelines for further research, and even in the interpretation of mortality rates. For traditional Chinese medicine, this marks a significant leap toward reaching a position of universal healthcare.

“It will definitely change medicine around the world,” said Choi Seung-Hoon, the Board Chair of the National Development Institute in Gyeongsan, who acknowledges that this classification of China’s ancient medicine system opens new doors which were previously shut. 

In particular, the classification will aid in finding funding for clinical trials in the west. These trials are randomized and carried out in a controlled environment to test new medicines and drugs to treat diseases. 

The announcement has some western-trained doctors and scientists concerned, citing the ‘unscientific’ nature of traditional Chinese medicine and its lack of clinical trials. Traditional practitioners at disagree with the approach of some in the west, claiming that their dismissals are too simplistic: “Traditional remedies are often a mix of dozens of ingredients with mechanisms that cannot be reduced to a single factor in a laboratory,” they say.  

In recent years, traditional Chinese medicine has expanded far beyond the borders of its ancestral homeland, and now centers can be found around the world in cities such as New York, Barcelona, and Dubai. 

While it remains too early to say how the ICD’s decision will influence healthcare in the coming years and decades, this is a welcome step forward from the WHO in exploring healthcare beyond the west. In turn, people around the world will now have an option to the conventional pharmaceutics of the western health industry.

By

Taiyi Institute

Taiyi Institute strives to bring international awareness to traditional Chinese medicine and natural healing through research, meditation, physical and mental exercise, and lifestyle activities.

Sources

1. Springer Nature. Why Chinese medicine is heading for clinics around the world. 2018.

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