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Medicine gets straight to the point

Updated: 2023-10-31 07:21 ( China Daily )
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Children learn about acupuncture in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province. [Photo by Wang Huabin/Li Mingfa/For China Daily]

Modern people, due to the prolonged use of mobile phones and computers, spend up to 10 hours a day sitting to study or work. This sedentary lifestyle, lacking in sufficient physical activity, means that the muscles, ligaments, and bones of the spine do not receive adequate relaxation and exercise, gradually leading to damage. Issues such as neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, lower back pain, and leg pain are becoming increasingly common.

Many young people are developing conditions like cervical spondylosis and lumbar disk herniation at an early age.

Yao Jingyi, who works at a TCM clinic in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, has been engaged in the clinical treatment of orthopedic injuries for over 30 years. He is particularly skilled in treating sports injuries, gout, cervical spondylosis, lumbar spine disease, and osteoarthritis.

"Acupuncture is one of the treasures of traditional Chinese medicine," Yao explains.

According to him, the ancient practice of acupuncture is distinctly effective in treating "modern illnesses", such as cervical spondylosis and lumbar spine disease.

Yao says clinical experience shows a significant shift in the demographics of patients with neck, shoulder, back, and leg pain.

In the past, these conditions were discovered mostly among older people or those engaged in heavy physical labor, but currently, they are also affecting younger people.

"Many patients are students, office workers, and young to middle-aged people who spend a lot of time playing games on their phones," he says.

"I once treated a 14-year-old patient with lumbar disk herniation. After 20 sessions of acupuncture, the patient's condition significantly improved."

In addition to cervical and lumbar issues, many young women are finding themselves dealing with joint pain, another common ailment among the youth.

In his treatment room, Yao was administering acupuncture to the knee joint of a young woman. The patient, Shen Xinwen, loves wearing skirts regardless of the season. Recently, she began experiencing frequent pain in her leg joints, prompting her to try acupuncture.

"Today is my fifth treatment, and I feel much more relaxed," Shen says happily.

Zhao Jiping, director of the Department of Acupuncture Clinical Studies at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, was admitted to the university in 1978 and has been working in the department since she graduated in 1983.

"In today's fast-paced society, many people find themselves in a state of suboptimal health or poor health. Acupuncture can be used to invigorate the mind, improve mental clarity, promote overall well-being and help people effectively engage in their work and daily life," she says.

Zhao adds that there is often a lack of understanding regarding the scope of conditions that acupuncture can effectively treat.

"Acupuncture is not only suitable for middle-aged and elderly people, but it is also applicable to a wide range of individuals, from infants as young as a few months old, to elderly people in their 80s or 90s," she says.

"Some people associate acupuncture primarily with pain management and neurological conditions. In fact, acupuncture can be used to treat illnesses, such as internal medicine conditions, gynecological issues, pediatric ailments, orthopedic injuries, dermatological and ENT conditions.

"Acupuncture has been documented to effectively treat over 400 different types of diseases and symptoms," she says.

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