Professor TANG Pingfen, a visiting fellow from China, gave a presentation on Traditional Chinese Medicine on December 1 at the Yale University School of Nursing. TANG is Vice Dean, Master of Epidemiology at Kunming Medical University, Yunnan, China.
Professor TANG is spending a semester at Yale through the Chia Fellowship in conjunction with the Yale-China Association. Through the fellowship, she is researching the influence of AIDS on the elderly in China's Yunnan Province.
Professor TANG presented the philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, with an emphasis on balance in all aspects of life, including a harmony between man and nature and a balance of Yin and Yang. She said that when traditional doctors examine a patient, they put all information into a context of who the person is, including gender and age, and the effects of geography on a person's climate, culture, and nutrition. She described the special care that new mothers receive within the community, and the attention paid to the diet of children and the elderly.
Professor TANG demonstrated some tools of Traditional Chinese Medicine, including acupuncture needles, moxibustion (burning the herb mugwort), and cupping (heating glass cups to create suction on the skin). She described how warm mud baths are used to treat arthritis, and the use of massage to ease insomnia.
TANG said that prevention is always better than treatment, quoting the proverb, "Dig for water before you get thirsty."
The Yale-China Association's history of health work in China began 12 years ago, before HIV/AIDS was recognized as a problem in China, when the Association founded medical institutions in Hunan province that remain major centers of medical education and care. Its most recent work focuses on improving the ability of patients to adhere to difficult antiretroviral medication regimens and on improving the ability to effectively screen for ophthalmologic complications of HIV. To learn more about Yale-China, visit www.yalechina.org.
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