Exploring TCM in elderly care
Quite recently, I was following a particular drama series that was airing every weekday nights. A Mediacorp (Singapore) production titled “The Oath”, the story revolves around the rivalry between a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner and a doctor skilled in western medicine. With a common aim to save lives, both individuals ironically were also in love with the same woman. Eventually, the former may have won her heart, but honours were even in the duel between Chinese and Western medicine.
This is because both methods are effective in their own right and in certain instances, have a complementary effect on each other. In the case of elderly care, various aspects of TCM are used to promote longevity and wellness. The Chinese believed that Qi (Chi) or vital energy flows throughout the body. It is essential to regulate the Qi within as an interruption of energy flow would indicate body aches. Chinese herbs such as aloeswood, costus root, ginseng, persimmon calyx and tangerine peel help facilitate the flow of Qi in vital organs, alleviating pain. Food remedies like scallion, garlic, ginger and peach also provide health and longevity benefits.
For pain relief in bones and joints, acupuncture, a proven effective treatment against arthritis and osteoporosis may be an option for the elderly in pain management. Mind-body exercises such as Qi Gong and Tai Chi also boast the benefits of strengthening immune systems, preventing falls, decreasing chronic ailments and mitigating symptoms of depression among the elderly.
To sum it up really, TCM and western medicine practices may differ in many ways, yet it is important to note that both medical cultures have the best of intentions for the general health and wellness of their people. As both sides continue to discover new and innovative routes towards longevity and good health, the standards of elderly care can only improve. But for now, it is all hands on deck as we brace for impact from the imminent silver tsunami.
(Image Source: Jimmie)
(Video Source: MyPathTV)