How does Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) assist in healthy ageing?
In the fourth instalment of the five-part series “The Art, Science and Good News of Ageing” on 30 November, Dr Goh Chye Tee, the Consultant Physician and former Director of the NTU Chinese Medicine Clinic and Director of Biomedical Sciences/Chinese Medicine at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, A/Prof Tan Chay Hoon, an Associate Professor in Pharmacology at National University of Singapore (NUS) and Consultant Psychiatrist at National University Hospital (NUH) and moderator Adj Asst Prof Maleena Suppiah Cavert, Chief Wellbeing Officer at the National University Health System (NUHS) discussed TCM’s holistic approach to ageing, particularly its underlying philosophy in relation to lifestyle, fitness and the prevention and treatment of diseases.
TCM manages health by regulating the energy flow, or qi, along the meridians within the human body and the balance between the yin and yang of key bodily functions such as nutrition intake and metabolism. Pressure points, known as acupoints, are intersections of the meridians where qi meet. Dr Goh shared that stimulating these key points with pressure or acupuncture can help to manage pain, improve body circulation and, in turn, regulate health as we age. Food therapy is also one of the key components of TCM, where common food ingredients, when consumed in an informed and balanced manner, are able to prevent or relieve common ailments in an ageing body.
TCM can play a complementary role to modern medicine in treating illnesses. However, there can be harmful or even lethal interactions between TCM herbs and western medication when consumed concurrently. A/Prof Tan advised elderly patients taking TCM herbal medicines to keep their TCM and western doctors informed of their medication to protect their health. A/Prof Tan also informed the audience that modern technology like Artificial Intelligence and Big Data is helping us to better understand the herbs in ancient TCM prescriptions. Such understanding will help TCM become safer and more acceptable in public healthcare.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the speakers in this webinar are their own and do not represent the opinions of The HEAD Foundation.