YAYA Cui - guide to the authentic history of TCM (XI'AN, SHAANXI, People's Republic of China)

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YAYA Cui - guide to the authentic history of TCM (XI'AN, SHAANXI, People's Republic of China)
photo: www.tcmworld.eu/Director YAYA Cui
flag 07 / 03 / 2024

Europe is looking at new products and methods of healing. To cover western medicine is harder and harder. Pandemic situation has been changed many conditions and results. European people discovered sickness and new knowledge. And any old-new. TCM.

In accordance with our partnership we visited Xi’an, Shaanxi. During Asian Economic Forum we visited very interesting place and museum. This visit made stronger our aim: tu support sharing western and eastern medicine, to exchange doctors and information, to spread marketing communication and help development of herbal and pharmaceutical business.

The gradual turnaround in interest in China stems from economic considerations. It is simply better not to go bankrupt than to go bankrupt, whether it is the auto industry, pharmaceutical giants or energy sources. The rising cost of using man-made pharmaceuticals is sparking a natural interest in natural products.    

The long-standing debates about the forgotten art of herbalist grandmothers or charlatans from the East are slowly dying down. Both the WHO and independent scientific institutions support shared medicine in the USA, Canada, Australia, India or Vietnam. 

They are developing thousands of years old and preserved knowledge with the most modern scientific methods. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a historical phenomenon, not a political diversion. Thus, we are witnessing on all continents an intense collaboration of top institutions, aiming to use resources, methods and products proven over millennia.  

I think there is only one place all over the world where you can see the complete history of TCM over many years, developed and followed continuously, preserved in fragments and amazing exhibits. It is the Shaanxi University Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SUCM) in Xi'an. The director of the museum office is Ms. YA YA Cui, who gave us an interview.  

YAYA / www.tcmrevue.cz

TCM is part of China's entire history, culture and art of healing. Is its center in Shaanxi province where it was born?

Literally speaking, it originated on the Yellow River. Huang Di (the Yellow Emperor) and Qibó and others, all made a name for themselves in the history of medicine.

You run a major TCM museum. Is it a good place for students to come to study history?

Yes, SUCM is a good place for students, both Chinese and foreign. Both the museum and the university are described as the cradle of medical talent education in the northwestern part of China. Thirteen ancient dynasties established their capital in Shaanxi Province, where it was also the capital for many hundreds of years. We can sense more than 5,000 years of historical and cultural heritage here. For Our students can learn more than five historical subjects, such as history of medicine, ancient Chinese medicine, theories of famous doctors of past generations, introduction to traditional Chinese culture.

Museum / wikipedia

Where are the main important sites or areas of archaeological activity?

We have many unique relics and finds here, mainly from the central part of Shaanxi Province. The most famous are the Northern Zhou Dynasty bronze vessels in BAO JI, the Han Yang ling and also the tomb of QIAN LING , the Great Wild Goose Pagoda in the TANG Dynasty. The northern part of Shaanxi province is also important, where the most famous site is SHI MAO. The finds are from the relics of the tribe that lived here during the Warring States period.

What is the oldest artifact you have here?

In the first exhibition hall we have bone needles from the Neolithic period, which is the oldest medical tool, you see a bronze flat needle just from the Warring States period. It's one of our most important exhibits in our museum, and it's been written into the textbook of the twelfth five years. We also have porcelain moxa flasks from the Tang Dynasty, a copper bowl with a fish and peony relief on the surface from the Song Dynasty.

Museum/ www.tcmworld.eu

Do you think there's anything older?

Not yet, but research is continuing intensively. We are trying our best to find more artifacts, practical objects and evidence of how long and continuously knowledge of Chinese medicine has been accumulated in our province. I am not a doctor, I work as a university teacher and run a museum. Yet, or perhaps because of it, I am proud of our findings.

Museum / www.tcmworld.eu

Could you prepare an exhibition for abroad, a "road movie", to show TCM in other countries?

Do you mean to use the Belt and Road project, the so-called "Silk Road"? It would certainly be interesting. The themes and circuits are intertwined and methods are shared in other provinces of China, and of course other countries, Japan, Vietnam, India. In our second themed room we have items featuring acupuncture, focusing on minority and ethnic group medicines by climate, and also communication between TCM and Western medicine. I think it would be possible for us to collect them and conceive them for an exhibition.

Museum / www.tcmworld.eu

Are there any international students studying SUCM here in Xi'an who visit the museum?

Yes, we have international students from Southeast Asia, such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and many other countries.

Do you have any partners for historical presentation in other provinces?

Yes, we have the National Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. We established cooperation this June and strengthened contacts with some museums in many universities in Shaanxi Province. We are a large region with an important history. (Author's note: TCM is part of a cultural legacy, often associated with distinctly artistic artifacts. These vary according to demographics; separately we find, for example, the Museum of Tibetan Medicine).

How many TCM students complete their studies each year?

Depending on current interest, 20-40 students graduate per year.

Do you have any public activities, lectures, videos?

Yes, we organize different kinds of activities every year, for example, we observe traditional festivals and holidays. We have also made videos about our collections in the museum, in which our staff play three roles, working staff, teacher, researcher. We are constantly doing research, focusing on the collections, and publishing books about famous doctors of old. 

Is the young generation in China interested in studying or using and developing TCM? Isn't it some kind of curiosity for them, unscientific nonsense?

The interest is huge, of course. In recent years, it has been reinforced by the government, medical universities, hospitals and scientific institutions. Especially after the pandemic, more and more people have been noticing the effects of TCM products, such as Lianhua qingwen capsules. For many people, these methods and products have literally saved their health or even their lives. The knowledge of history, as we see not only in our museum, is very deep and professionally presented. The sharing of Western and Eastern medicine is developing all over the world.

Do you use TCM personally?

Yes, I am a big fan of it, I use acupuncture and moxing regularly, or I would try tuina massage if I had any problem with neck pain, leg pain, etc. Going to chiropractors for spinal manipulation is very popular with young people these days.

 What is the best lifestyle support, treatment, fitness by these methods and means?

At TCM we stress that the most important thing is prevention from disease. In my opinion, an ideal lifestyle depends on five conditions: good mood, healthy diet, sufficient sleep, appropriate exercise and a regular regime.

Thank you for the interview.

 

 Jan HOVORKA / EUROCENTER TCM PRAGUE

 

By JAN HOVORKA

President of EUROCENTER TCM PRAGUE

Logo / EUROCENTER TCM

 

 

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