Even for a physician trained in modern medicine, traditional medicine offers a new approach to health. Mehmet Oz, Professor of Surgery at Columbia University, explained that over 5,000 years, Chinese medicine is sure to have developed effective treatments. Robert Sinnott, Chief Scientific Officer of Usana Health Services, highlighted his organization’s work with the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, which had researched clinical capabilities but lacked the ability to access the market. Traditional Chinese medicine to Anlong Xu, President of the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, offers answers to current issues, particularly regarding quality of life.
Dr. Oz turned his focus to traditional medicine in Colombia, asking Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia, how to balance traditional and modern approaches. President Duque stressed that indigenous medicine involves not only cures but prevention. Combining modern and traditional medicine will be important to deal with the post-COVID era and its expected rise in anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
One abiding challenge in traditional medicine is quality control for supplements. Sinnott explained how the west has developed standards for dietary supplements but that same rigor is lacking in traditional Chinese medicine. Addressing that issue will allow traditional treatments to be more consistent and therefore more impactful.
It’s hard to translate between the two ways of thinking because they’re so different.
Traditional Chinese medicine was founded on ancient discoveries, but that doesn’t mean the methods are automatically outdated.
There are some concepts in eastern medicine such as chi and protective chi, which nobody has heard of here, but are essential in traditional Chinese medicine.
You have to have specialists to deal with transmissible and non-transmissible diseases. This is where multilateralism and an integration between countries with specialists on one thing, vis-a-vis another, could also be an improvement to be constructed out of the lesson COVID-19 left for us.
Iván Duque Márquez