Chinese medicine gaining popularity in UAE
Dubai - Among the local practitioners is Dr Maria Ridao Alonso, managing and medical director of the Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre, which offers a variety of TCM ranging from acupuncture to ear point treatment, in which small herbal seeds are taped to the ear and then massaged.
Traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM, are among the many forms of 'alternative medicine' available in the UAE.
These treatments - many of which were first designed over 2,500 years ago - include acupuncture, herbal treatments, Tai Chi and Tui Na, a form of Chinese massage and manipulative therapy often combined with acupuncture and cupping.
Other treatments include Qigong, a system of body movements, postures, medication and breathing exercises, as well as traditional dietary therapies.
In the UAE, TCM has experienced a surge of popularity in recent years, with a number of clinics providing acupuncture and various other TCM therapies.
Among the local practitioners is Dr Maria Ridao Alonso, managing and medical director of the Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre, which offers a variety of TCM ranging from acupuncture to ear point treatment, in which small herbal seeds are taped to the ear and then massaged.
Dr Ridao Alonso, who has extensive training in TCM, said that its popularity stems from the fact that it can be successfully used to address a wide variety of ailments. "It can help with almost all diseases, chronic and acute, that do not require surgery or are life-threatening acute," she said. "It can treat cold and flu, digestion problems, allergies, hormonal imbalances like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), as well as help with fertility and menopause, treat pain, migraines, improve immunity, mild forms of depression, anxiety, and stress related symptoms."
Unlike modern medicines, TCM is more concerned with function rather than fixed anatomical structures, and works on the belief that a 'chi' - or vital energy - circulates through 'meridians', or channels, that connect bodily organs and functions.
Everything, TCM holds, is connected and related, both physically and mentally. An important aspect of TCM, Dr Ridao Alonso says, is that the TCM has a strong emphasis on identifying and addressing issues before they actually become infirmities, potentially negating the need for further treatment.
"It detects so-called imbalances often before they turn into a disease and treatment starts at a very early stage, generally with almost no side effects."