Ong Seh Hong: The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) community should continue to strive towards constantly innovating research for world-recognised TCM methods.The recently retired Member of Parliament Dr Ong Seh Hong was invited to attend an acupuncture seminar the day before, and at his speech, he said that even though TCM has its unique set of scientific diagnosis methods, it should continue to accept new challenges and strive towards constantly innovating research for world-recognised TCM methods .
Nearly 400 local TCM practitioners, acupuncturists, TCM associations and representatives attended the Singapore “Acupuncture Practical Technology” seminar the day before yesterday, to learn acupuncture experts from China, Hong Kong and Singapore introduce some of the ancient and unique forms of acupuncture, such as tongue, ear and fire acupuncture, and grain moxibustion, as well as the latest acupuncture developments, such as acupoint buried thread therapy.
The Singapore Chinese Physicians’ Association Chairman Dr Wong Chin Nai said, this seminar’s aim was to make it clear that acupuncture is not a placebo. He says, at present, there are 160 countries in the world that use acupuncture as a form of therapy, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has been actively promoting acupuncture, and since 1997, it has confirmed that 43 kinds of human diseases can be treated effectively by acupuncture.Dr Ong Seh Hong, who was invited to host the opening ceremony, expressed that TCM, especially acupuncture can withstand challenges and testing, and used the analogy that “real gold does not fear the red hot coals” to describe ancient TCM.
Dr Ong Seh Hong said, TCM, regardless of Chinese herbs, acupuncture or TCM therapy, has treated countless patients in the course of thousands of years, and hence it has withstood the test of time and definitely has its proven benefits and effects.However, with the development of technology, he feels that TCM should keep evolving, and even though TCM has its own set of diagnosis principles, it should still continue to accept new challenges and strive towards constantly innovating research for world-recognised TCM methods .He explained, when reading scientific reports, one should remain objective. Whether it is TCM or Western medicine, when a drug is being tested, it has the possibility of having a placebo effect. For example, in Western medicine, sometimes a drug or treatment may show significant results in the first study, and in a second study show no results.This is very common.
He said, “So we need to take an objective standpoint when approaching such articles. You may say this drug is effective, but do not base it solely on one report. Instead, look at the complete picture, and see if the majority of people agree that it is effective before you decide. By taking this approach, you can avoid an overreaction to such problems.”Dr Ong Seh Hong feels that everyone should study the different development stages of Western medicine carefully, and understand and differentiate its benefits and shortcomings, and thereby, on the basis of continuing the tradition, create a brand new era of medicine, and from an equal platform, integrate Eastern and Western medicine and finally form an international and new medical system that will last for hundreds of generations.He pointed out, everyone’s main aim is the same, which is to get rid of the old and useless and retain the effective portions, and at the same time, demonstrate newer, more effective treatment methods, and even treat new diseases.
As for the miscommunication between TCM and Western medicine, he feels that this problem can be solved by increased exchanges and interaction between the two groups. He feels that if the best of TCM and Western medicine can be combined, perhaps this will allow patients to receive the fastest and most effective treatments that also have the least side effects.”Acupuncture Practical Technology Symposium” is the World Acupuncture Federation’s first stop in the “Global Tour of Acupuncture”, and is organised by the SCPA and Chung Hwa Acupuncture Research Institute and hosted by the the World Acupuncture Federation.
The Singapore Chinese Physicians’ Association (SCPA), at the start of the establishment of the World Acupuncture Federation in 1987, had already joined the World Acupuncture Federation’s big family, and the good relations between the two organisations have helped improve academic exchanges. The World Acupuncture Federation, with the joint efforts of other worldwide acupuncture comrades, has successfully organised several World Acupuncture Federation Symposiums and more than ten International Acupuncture Symposiums, and has been invaluable in promoting acupuncture on the worldwide arena. This event is first stop of the World Acupuncture Federation’s series of seminars that are aimed at promoting the latest acupuncture technologies, and is titled: the World Acupuncture Federation “Global Tour of Acupuncture”.
The SCPA and the Chung Hwa Acupuncture Research Institute are both very glad and honoured to be the organisers of the first stop: the Singapore “Acupuncture Practical Technology” seminar, and to gather acupuncture colleagues from all over the world for networking and exchange, like a big family gathered to discuss how to introduce acupuncture into the mainstream healthcare system, and how to properly regulate the TCM industry and the standards of practice in acupuncture.
On behalf of the SCPA, please allow me to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their concern and support in working tirelessly in order to contribute to the TCM development of Singapore. Moreover, in ensuring the continuity of a solid foundation, and allowing the SCPA/ Chung Hwa Acupuncture Research Institute to gain recognition, not just within ASEAN, but in the whole world, making Singapore TCM a solid brand name.
I still recall that during 2009, the SCPA/ Chung Hwa Acupuncture Research Institute was the first to design a “Patient Acupuncture Consent Form” in order to let patients seek acupuncture treatment in a standardised environment, and to offer protection to TCM physicians. In order to strengthen academic exchanges between acupuncturists in the region and to improve the overall level of academic study of acupuncture research and personnel training, hence raising the overall standards of academic study of acupuncture and TCM and promoting the clinical application of acupuncture. In Singapore in May 2009, the Chung Hwa Acupuncture Research Institute and Toa Payoh Community Club Management Committee Liaison Office organised three public forums titled “Taiwan Acupuncture Experts Seminar”. In Taiwan in December 2009, in association with the China Acupuncture Federation, the Taiwan Chung Hwa Acupuncture Association organised the “First Asian Acupuncture Forum”. At the voting results of the same year, the SCPA representative Dr Liu Jia Yang was choses as the Vice Chairman of the Asian Executive Committee of the Seventh Committee of the World Acupuncture Federation.
In 2010, the SCPA continued to have good relations with the World Acupuncture Federation, and in May of 2010, the World Acupuncture Federation held the “International Standards of Moxibustion Techniques” in Beijing, China, and the SPCA sent the SCPA’s deputy treasurer Dr Liu Jia Yang and Chung Hwa Acupuncture Research Institute’s Dean Dr Gu Zhong Fu to attend the conference, who gave their comments and recommendations for the draft.
On April 22, 2011, with the World Acupuncture Federation as the host, the SCPA and Chung Hwa Acupuncture Research Institute as the organisers, the World Acupuncture Magazine Society’s first stop in the “Global Tour of Acupuncture” was held at the third floor Grand Hall of the Quality Hotel in Singapore. The symposium was named “Acupuncture Practical Technology” seminars, and specially invited experts included, expert in acupuncture and moxibustion Professor Wang Lingling who lectured on “The Clinical Characteristics and Uses of Grain Moxibustion”, ear acupuncture expert Professor Jia Chunsheng who lectured on “”A randomized controlled trial: The use of auricular acupuncture at points along the skin in the treatment of a variety of pain and health dysfunctions” , tongue acupuncture expert Professor Sun Jieguang who lectured on “The New Hope of Mankind’s Health–Tongue Acupuncture” , fire acupuncture expert Chairman He Lin who lectured on “Clinical applications of fire acupuncture techniques”, as well as acupoint expert Professor Shi Xian who lectured on “Clinical applications of acupoint buried thread techniques”.
This “Acupuncture Practical Technology” Symposium, apart from proving adequately that TCM acupuncture is not a placebo, has shown that the holistic approach of TCM acupuncture and the meridian theory, through the use of needles and moxibustion and other tools to pierce or smoke specific areas of the body, is able to regulate whole body balance and achieve health. Currently, there are 160 countries that use acupuncture as a form of therapy, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has been actively promoting acupuncture, and since 1997, it has confirmed that 43 kinds of human diseases can be treated effectively by acupuncture. In summary, how can anyone still say that acupuncture is only a placebo? What is the basis for claiming that TCM acupuncture is based on astrology? These are all very inaccurate and narrow viewpoints which can gravely mislead the general public and their opinion of TCM.
We strongly believe, that this star-studded event will be filled with an atmosphere of rich academia and knowledge and we will get rid of the fallacious belief that acupuncture is merely a placebo, allowing us to join efforts in contributing even more to the health of mankind.
Finally, let us wish this event complete success!
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