Traditional Mongolian Medicine in China and the West

The article I read was titled “Healing traditions go abroad” from the “China Daily” on It spoke of traditional Mongolian medicine and it’s critics, as well as the recent interest shown from the west. I’d always been most interested in acupuncture, bone setting, and the use of water in the traditional medicine. It’s promising to read that the Chinese government is encouraging advances in traditional Mongolian medicine and it’s expansion; “In 2013, the health department of Inner Mongolia reached an agreement with the US National Institutes of Health to promote the study of Mongolian medicine.” The article mentioned that Chinese doctors who were studying western medicine, some even abroad, were now coming back to learn the traditional methods.  Ulaan is the director of the State-owned Inner Mongolia International Mongolian Hospital, which opened in 2012. She discussed their recent invitation to an international forum organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), after specialists from WHO witnessed traditional Mongolian medicine at work for themselves.

The topic of cost was also brought up, mentioning how much cheaper the traditional medicine was. Ulaan points out that taking many of the “sophisticated medical instruments and expensive drugs” leaves the focus on the doctor’s experience and ability. I definitely agree that it’s hard to understand and comprehend the traditional methods when one hasn’t witnessed them in person, but I’d like to think I have faith in some of the traditional methods. Though I know a few people who swear by acupuncture, but have yet to experience it myself. I feel as though some of the other traditional methods are not as common or popular in the west as acupuncture has become. I’m curious to know if anyone in the class has had acupuncture before, or experienced/witnessed traditional Mongolian medicine methods. I’m also curious as to just how popular traditional medicine is in China compared to western medicine, now, in 2014, and if it has grown or dwindled in popularity in the last decade.

One thought on “Traditional Mongolian Medicine in China and the West

  1. James Eichner

    I have only experienced acupuncture once, but my mother has often been well involved in alternative health practices. I say “health” rather than “medicine” since I include a long history with chiropractors and yoga, besides a doctor who deals in herbal medicines and experience with acupuncture. Most of her health trouble is related to joint issues by now, and she describes her acupuncture experiences as very effectual, but short lived, as her joint pains always return in short while (days, usually).

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