中文 | CONTACT US
You are here: Home Page >> Research >> Text

Liu Pengzhi: Open the Door to Traditional Chinese Medicine for the Youth

Date: 2017-03-22
Introducing traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) knowledges in schools creates a fresh route for TCM development and enhances the confidence of the young people in Chinese culture.

Traditional cultures are the root where a nation moves forward. Basic education is the root for people’s growth and development. Educators should think about how to combine basic education and traditional cultures in a complementary way. In recent years, traditional cultures such as Chinese calligraphy and painting have been introduced into schools. In contrast, much more remains to be done on TCM.

Some may say TCM and basic education are not that close, a viewpoint that I beg to disagree with. TCM emphasizes a healthy lifestyle and self-adjustment and is therefore instrumental for the health and growth of the youth. Young students are under huge academic pressure, which has caused widespread neck problems, headache, insomnia and obesity. How to reduce fatigue, prevent illnesses and strength the body should be part of education in a broad sense and must not be excluded from classroom teaching. Over a year ago, the RUC Affiliated High School started to offer a program called “TCM on Campus”, which is welcomed by both students and faculty. At the 2017 Seminar on Innovative Talent Education, we proposed with the Chinese Maternal and Child Health Association to bring TCM knowledge to high schools and primary schools across the country. Many schools have responded positively to this proposal.

People often compare health to the digit “1” and career, family, social status and wealth to “0”. Without the “1”, no matter how many “0” there may be, it means nothing. There is a nationwide consensus to build a healthy China. Health should be part of people’s entire life. By teaching TCM knowledge, we don’t aim to train our students to be accomplished TCM experts. Rather, we want them to know health in a scientific way. In addition to TCM knowledge and skills, students will also learn about harmony between man and nature. Such health-conscious children will help foster health-conscious families, which, in turn, will result in a healthy China.

With due respect to TCM, we must also be careful in what and how to teach. After many discussions and deliberations, we decided to start with TCM techniques for fitness, such as acupuncture and cupping, which are safe and suitable for high school students. The eye exercise that people are familiar with is one TCM technique. By teaching them more TCM techniques for fitness, we could foster a stronger awareness in our students and benefit their families as well. Those who are interested and gifted students can also receive personalized training and grow to be TCM professionals.

The TCM culture is profound and holds the key to opening the treasure house of the Chinese civilization. Inspired by TCM, Tu Youyou discovered artemisinin, which won her the Nobel Prize. More Confucius Institutes on TCM are opened across the world to promote TCM culture. The traditional Chinese culture holds immense appeal to the world. As President Xi Jinping said, “Abandoning traditions and roots amounts to cutting the cultural lifeblood. The profound Chinese cultural heritage is where we can stand firmly in the world cultural surges.” In this sense, teaching TCM knowledge at schools creates a fresh route path for TCM development and enhances the confidence of the young people in Chinese culture.

To foster health awareness and carry forward traditional culture is an ongoing groundwork that won’t be accomplished overnight. Promoting TCM culture at schools is a key to opening the treasure house of the Chinese civilization. This may encourage more students to pursue medicine as their future career, seek wisdom from the philosophy of “man and nature are one” and make contributions to the sustainable development of TCM and the progress of mankind.

  (The author is a CCICH researcher and Principal of the RUC Affiliated High School.)