Medical experts in China have claimed traditional Chinese medicine, known as TCM, especially acupuncture, can help prevent suicides.
Du Wendong, of the Institute of Psychology of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, said there were no suicide cases in his university
since 1985 when authorities began using TCM to tackle students’ mental issues.
According to TCM psychological theories, mental disorders can be cured through “treatment of both mind and body”, Xinhua reports.
Chen Qing, Du’s student, suffered from chronic diarrhea and was ill-tempered. She often clashed with classmates.
After talking with Chen, Du realized that Chen suffered from depression due to study stress. Chen often told him she wanted to commit suicide. They discovered that Chen’s diarrhea was caused by psychological disorders and her short temper was generated by “liver hyperactivity”, a TCM term indicating headache, dizziness and red eyes.
After applying acupuncture and massage therapy, Chen’s depression faded.
Du said such “mental crisis intervention” had helped prevent over 160 suicide cases since 1985, and the school’s psychological centre had offered consultation to about 80,000 people.
Chen Mingkang, a treated patient, said the side-effects of anti-depression drugs were “scary” and caused insomnia,
but he was gradually relieved after applying acupuncture, and his depression had not recurred for years.
Zhang Ning, a doctor who specializes in treating mental disorders, said TCM-based treatment was more efficient than taking anti-depression drugs, and also improves sleeping.
He said the recurrence rate was low and there were very few side-effects.
Psychological problems in youth have caused concern in China as experts found a high correlation between suicide and mental illness.
According to research conducted by the government-funded Beijing Suicide Research and Prevention Center, out of 287,000 people who committed
suicide last year, 63 percent suffered from mental disorders,.
TCM-based treatment is also being promoted in the US, France, Germany, Portugal, Singapore and other countries by foreign students studying medicine in Nanjing.
Sept 13 2010