Beijing Visit 1987

China is home to 1/5 of the world population, yet its health care system delivers both “traditional” Eastern medicine and Western medicine. Therefore, you may receive a prescription to go to the pharmacy where numerous natural herbs will be combined as ingredients for a soup, tea, or balm. You may be directed to acupuncture or a tai chi practitioner. Any or all may be employed to treat or prevent a condition. My first visit to mainland China took me to 4 medical centers thru out the country and to this day I remain respectful of their medical knowledge.

Acupuncture is provided by licensed and experienced practitioners, and is generally safe. I have acupuncture and moxibustion (the burning of dried Asian leaves related to the mugwort herb above the skin to apply heat to acupuncture points) preformed regularly, but know it is not effective in treating all conditions.
Herbal products can be helpful, but be aware of reports of contamination; heavy metal, toxin and drugs contamination is possible. Furthermore, Chinese medicines can interact negatively with prescribed medications and may have serious side effects.
In the US, we use the term “complementary” or “alternative” medicine when speaking of non-Western healthcare. Always let your physician know if you are using complementary approaches.