TCM doctors in China cash in on Westerners seeking alternatives

TCMdoctorsIn China, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is often offered alongside Western medicine in major hospitals; likewise, resources from the two practices are are offered side-by-side at pharmacies and doctors’ offices. And, today, it is becoming more commonplace for foreigners to take advantage of these offerings.

These “Westerners” are learning that TCM presents a resource that is not available in their own countries… whether it is as a full-scale “alternative” or a “supplement” to their traditional medical care. Now a number of TCM doctors are recognizing this valuable market and are setting up practices to cater to Westerners seeking the TCM option.

It is perhaps somewhat ironic that at a time many Americans are lamenting the fact that factory jobs are leaving the U.S. for China that there now seems to be another industry—albeit a small one—in which American customers go to China to do business.

But this situation is unlikely to change considering the mammoth regulatory state in America—which limits healthcare alternatives—and considering the medical monopoly does its best to sideline alternative health choices such as TCM, chiropractic care and herbal practices.

According to TCM practitioners, it is just these sort of alternatives that their new Western patients come searching for.

In a July 21 article in Dr. Lang Cai, a TCM practitioner at the Beijing United Family hospital that caters to many expats in China’s capital, states: “Some patients might go to the Western practitioner for a check up physically and they will say, ‘you have no problems, go home and relax,’ but maybe in Chinese medicine we can find something wrong, something is still functioning, but is in the early stages (of becoming a problem).”

Read the complete article Ancient Medicine, New Practices here.