Alternative medicine

Alternative medicine is gaining ground

PETALING JAYA: There is a growing interest in the country to try alternative medicine as a way to cure various diseases, thanks to the government’s efforts over the past 20 years to include traditional and complementary medicine (TCM) in its national health system .

health journal BMC Health Services Research noted that Malaysia reached a historic milestone on March 1 last year, when practitioners were asked to provide recognized qualifications and register officially if they wished to practice in any area of ​​T&CM.

Additionally, a memorandum of understanding signed in March between Malaysia and China put another feather in T&CM’s hat when it endorsed the use of traditional medicine to supplement the conventional medical system.

TCM practitioner Dr. Kong Why Hong said the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized TCM and encouraged its member states to incorporate it into the practice of Western medicine.

“Government support and WHO recognition means there is a lot of ground for practitioners to cover, including raising awareness of its benefits. Previously, T&CM was not considered a form of folk medicine.

“However, efforts to integrate T&CM into the health system are paying off.

“The Ministry of Health is in its second phase until 2024 to register practitioners in seven fields including Traditional Indian Medicine, Traditional Malay Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Islamic Medical Practice, Homeopathy, Chiropractic and osteopathy,” Kong said.

The general secretary of the Chinese Medical Association Malaysia, which represents about 10,000 members nationwide, said all seven areas are recognized under the T&CM Act. A fresh graduate can earn a minimum wage of between RM2,500 and RM3,000 per month.

“(The shift) in interest in TCM can be attributed to our multicultural nation, where everyone has their own traditional medicine. It’s part of our way of life,” he said.

Shameny Raj, an Ayurvedic medicine coach, said based on his observations, some young practitioners, such as chiropractors, have added “a sense of professionalism” to their work. This includes wearing the uniform and how they present themselves to the public,” she said.

Shameny, who is also a chakra healer, said the reason for the interest in traditional medicine is because people have become aware of the side effects of using conventional medicine. “It (conventional medicine) can also be expensive,” she said.

The rise in the public’s spiritual awareness, which extends to their changing diet, such as eating more vegetables or becoming a strict vegetarian, has made traditional medicine more acceptable.

She said Ayurvedic treatment can be used for chronic conditions such as arthritis, eczema and gastroesophageal reflux disease, a digestive disorder that affects the muscular ring between the esophagus and the stomach.

However, it is less suitable for acute illnesses.