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Main Topic: Acupuncture TCM

Hosts: James Stanworth , Clyde Warden

TCM Sign
A TCM Clinic
With TCM as a ubiquitous form of treatment, most people in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan have experience of using these services. Treatments vary widely, as does quality. One of the main challenges is to find a clinic that suits the consumer's preferences and needs. In this episode Clyde talks about his experiences at different clinics, varying TCM approaches, and the search for satisfaction. A few interesting stories include dripping blood, painful massage, and of course needles! Treatments, we learn, often end with the Doctor urging a purchase of herbal Chinese medicines. These fall outside the health care system, supplying a revenue flow for clinics.

This topic is the second of a three part series. The next episode will be a research show, reporting on a large research project examining local consumers' preferences between TCM and Western medical services.

Clyde takes us through the whole experience of TCM--specifically for acupuncture treatment. The local business landscape for TCM has evolved to include TCM clinics in huge Western medicine hospitals. Outside on the street, TCM clinics can be found everywhere, and nearly everyone has experience with them. We follow Clyde on his odyssey to find just the right TCM doctor. Because there is no germ theory in TCM, no emphasis is placed on prevention of spreading colds, or the flu, and so Clyde takes his own precaution by wearing a mask, which is not uncommon. This lack of a single underlying medical theory also leads to many different branches of TCM, some with more Western influences and many with none at all. In the end, Clyde avoids getting his blood replaced and finds a clinic with a muscular-skeletal emphasis. Insurance and payment is all made easy with the medical card (embedded chip), and treatment is fast and smooth. James and Clyde discuss the business environment, the profit opportunities, and the importance of word of mouth in this market segment.

Alert--You may want to avoid eating during this show!

Kind of like a house wine--different clinics have their specialty herbal medicines.

The Show:

Length: 48 minutes. Download MP3 22.41MB (Right click->Save As).

Consumer CamConsumerCam:

Vid. 1) Registering for service.
Vid. 2) The treatment.

Bottom Line:

  • Clinics are very widely spread throughout all major cities.
  • National Insurance can be used for the treatment but not for optional Chinese medicines.
  • They operate on a walk-in no appointment basis.
  • There is no concept of germ theory.
  • The quality varies widely between clinics.
  • Some clinics lay more emphasis on non-scientific (mythical) practices.
  • The post-treatment effect of treatments are often very apparent.

Show Links (Lots of Links):

Websites in Taiwan about TCM:












Websites in China about Chinese medicine:


中藥 Herbal Medicine







Category: Podcasts

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