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Medicine gets straight to the point

Updated: 2023-10-31 07:21 ( China Daily )
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At 9:30 in the morning, Li Xueli, 25, hastily rode his motorcycle straight to the Dongzhimen Hospital of Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Having embarked on a career as a programmer at an internet company two years previously, he needed to get acupuncture treatment to his lumbar spine before his work started at 11 am.

His job required him to sit for extended periods, often leaving him with stiff muscles in his lower back, neck and shoulders.

Upon entering the acupuncture outpatient department of the hospital, he saw patients sitting or lying down in treatment rooms, undergoing a variety of treatments including moxibustion and electro-acupuncture, among them quite a few young faces.

Symptoms, such as physical weakness, frequent colds, declining memory, lack of energy, disrupted sleep, severe hair loss, and pain in the neck and shoulders, are more common than in the past among young people.

The demand for health and wellness has never been greater.

Doctors offer free acupuncture treatment to people in Taizhou, Zhejiang province. [Photo by Wang Huabin/Li Mingfa/For China Daily]

On average, every urban resident spends more than 1,000 yuan ($137) per year on health and wellness, according to a report of 2017-2022 China's health and wellness industry market development status and investment.

The report shows the current scale of the health and wellness market in the country exceeds 1 trillion yuan. Notably, people aged between 18 and 35 account for a staggering 83.7 percent of this consumer base.

Three months ago, Li began receiving acupuncture treatment every two weeks to alleviate fatigue and pathological symptoms.

It doesn't cost too much, he explains, as most of it is covered by health insurance.

"I was a bit resistant to acupuncture at first, afraid of the pain, but after the third treatment, I gradually got used to the slight, momentary pain of the silver needles sticking into my body, and I could even fall asleep on the therapy bed," he says.

Wang Louda, 30, who works in the social media industry, has gained a newfound respect for TCM after suffering from cervical spondylosis.

Six months ago, while driving home from work, Wang suddenly felt numbness and weakness in his left arm.

He thought it was due to the excessive overtime he was doing and that resting over the weekend would relieve it.

Unexpectedly, the situation worsened after a week. He had no choice but to go to the hospital for an MRI, which showed issues with his cervical spine.

A colleague recommended that he try acupuncture. After over a month of treatment with TCM, his symptoms had significantly alleviated.

"TCM is relatively gentle and suitable for treating chronic diseases," Wang says.

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